Russia protests. Ukraine has arrested the ship from the Crimea

РФ протестует. Украина арестовала судно из Крыма

Moscow gave Kyiv note with “strong protest” twice and demanded that Ukraine immediately release the crew members, accusing him of provocation.

More than a week, ten members of the crew of a fishing vessel Nord from the Crimea in port of Berdyansk, for a long time they were forbidden to disembark.

On March 25 they were detained by the state border service of Ukraine, which accused the fishermen of violating the order of departure from the annexed Crimea. The ship was arrested, and the captain suggested the suspicion of criminal offence.

Moscow gave Kyiv note with the “resolute protest” in connection with the detention of the vessel Nord with the crew. The Kremlin has promised to protect the rights of seafarers.

Корреспондент.net understand the situation around the detained in the Azov sea vessel.


The detention of the Nord and the trial of captain

The ship Nord left the port of Kerch in the Azov sea early on the morning of 24 March, the fishery for sprat. The next day it was stopped by the ship of sea protection of state frontier service of Ukraine in 27 km from Obitochnaya spit in Zaporizhia region.

The official reason for stopping the ship was the verification of compliance with fishing regulations. After inspection of the Nord and documents, the border guards detained the ship, accusing the crew of “violating the procedure for exit from the temporarily occupied territory”.

Seiner Nord owned industrial cooperative Fishing collective farm named after May 1, the city of Kerch. This Association of fishermen operated in the USSR and was re-registered under the laws of Ukraine.

In 2014, after the annexation of Crimea were a ship under the Russian flag. Ukrainian border guards reported that the crew members were Russian passport, issued in Kerch. Such documents in Ukraine have no legal force.

The guards escorted the Nord in the port of Berdyansk, announcing that it will conduct further validation and procedural steps.

The ship is escorted by Ukrainian border guards, crew members were forbidden to leave the ship.

April 4 captain Vladimir Gorbenko was removed from the vessel. On 5 April it was supposed to deliver in Kherson city court for preventive measure.

As the correspondent of Crimea.Reality, when the hearing began, the Prosecutor did not explain the specific reasons for absenteeism Gorbenko to the meeting. It was moved to April 6.

RBC with reference to the shipowner reports that on 4 April the captain of the Nord became ill and was taken to the hospital. The doctors took the decision to out-patient treatment. Then Gorbenko returned to the detention center of Kherson.

April 4, the Russian foreign Ministry said that the crew left the Board because of the sanitary conditions.


The position of Ukraine: broke the law

Crew members accused of violating the order of departure of their occupied territory. According to Ukrainian legislation, it can be qualified as administrative or criminal offence. It can become criminal, if the violation occurred with a view to harm the interests of the state.

The Prosecutor General’s office reported that Gorbenko charged under part 2 of article 332-1 of the criminal code of Ukraine which provides imprisonment up to eight years. The rest of the crew are in the status of witnesses, reports Crimea.Realities with reference to the representative of Prosecutor’s office of ARC Yegor Rebrov.

According to investigators, the fishermen broke the law because it left the port of Kerch, which in 2015 was declared closed by the government of Ukraine. The members of the crew were drawn up by the Administrative code, they face a fine or detention for 15 days.

“We see the detriment of Ukraine that carried out illegal fishing that vessel. It is engaged in mining of water resources of Ukraine”, – said Rebrov.

The ARC Prosecutor’s office claims that members of the crew are citizens of Ukraine. The captain of the Nord says he has Russian citizenship.

The Azov sea has the status of internal waters joint use of Russia and Ukraine under a contract signed in 2003.

The Nord had permission to fish in the Azov sea, published in Rostov-on-don. However, the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s office believes the document is invalid because, according to them, were issued in Kerch, and therefore, has no forces in Ukraine.


The position of captain: everything is legal

The captain of the ship and lawyers Kerch fishermen do not admit guilt and believe that the crew of Nord did not violate Ukrainian laws, because “the right exists only when crossing the border by land.”

“The order exists only for crossing the border by land area. Sea entry and exit are prohibited in principle. The procedure can be established where there is a resolution to go back and forth. Completely banned, for its violation of the criminal liability is not” – said the lawyer Dmitry Shcherbina.

Captain Gorbenko considers that his vessel had carried out fishing legally. He and his lawyers claim that the fishery inspection of Ukraine made the statement that the Nord did not violate fishing regulations.

The lawyer also said that the ship bad sanitary conditions and shortage of water and food.


The position of Russia: it is our citizens

Russia in turn calls the detained crew members of the Russian citizens and promises to protect them.

The Kremlin has promised to uphold the rights of detainees in Ukraine, the sailors of the North. About it on April 5 said the press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov.

“Moscow always was and remains a party committed to the spirit and letter of international law, all the provisions of, the relevant international law, and in all our actions we proceed from just this. Of course, the Russian side will continue to protect the interests of all entities that are related to the Russian jurisdiction,” he said.

The Russian foreign Ministry on April 4, invited the chargé d’affaires of Ukraine in Russia, where he was handed a note of strong protest in connection with detention of the vessel.

“Brought to the attention of the Ukrainian side that the crew of the ship contained in inhumane conditions, it did not allow the Russian consular employees. Stated that such actions are inconsistent with the provisions of the Treaty between the Russian Federation and Ukraine in 2003”, – reported on the Ministry’s website.

Russia has twice demanded the immediate release “of the illegally detained Russian citizens, the return of the vessel Nord to its rightful owner and to prevent similar provocations in the future.”


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According to the materials:

Radio Liberty