KIEV, Ukraine – President of Ukraine Pyotr Poroshenko signed the law “On the adjacent area of Ukraine”, which regulates the country’s maritime borders and punishment for its violators, reports the site of the head of state.
According to the text of the document published on the website, as adjacent areas of Ukraine are considered an open sea area that borders the territorial waters of the country, whose outer limit is not more than 24 nautical miles (44.5 kilometers). This range is measured from the initial lines of the territorial sea.
It is presumed that the competent national border protection authority may order the stopping, inspection, or arrest of ships and members of its crew, with the exception of warships and other state ships used for non-commercial purposes.
In addition, if a vessel attempts to escape, the competent body shall have the right to prosecute it to hold it in accordance with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The right of persecution shall end if the ship enters the territorial sea of the State under the flag of which it sails or of any third country.
The law shall enter into force on the day following the publication.
Reaction from Russia
According to the deputy chairman of the Defense Committee of the State Duma (lower house of the Russian parliament), Aleksandr Sherin, Russia is not required to recognize the maritime borders of Ukraine, as Kiev has broken relations with Moscow.
“In fact, all relations with Ukraine have been breached on the initiative of the Ukrainian side.” (President of Ukraine) Pyotr Poroshenko has severed relations with the Russian Federation, so we have no obligations to recognize the Ukrainian borders,” he said.
On 25 November, three Ukrainian navy ships violated the Russian border by entering a provisionally closed area of the Black Sea and advanced towards the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black and Azov seas and separates the Crimean peninsula from the rest of the territory.
Ukrainian vessels carried out dangerous maneuvers and ignored Russian demands to suspend their actions, so they were detained with their 24 crew members, who are currently facing criminal prosecution for crossing the border.
Moscow considered the attack as a Ukrainian provocation and claimed that Kiev violated the fundamental rules of international law while the Russian border defense forces acted according to law.
After this incident, the Ukrainian authorities imposed martial law in 10 provinces of the country for 30 days.