Sanctions on the water and in the air: Ukraine tries to stop sea and air flights to Crimea

Ukraine in absentia has seized 50 ships that entered the Crimean ports - this was reported on November 24 by the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on the mainland of Ukraine. The department emphasized that they are finding out the location of these vessels in order to apply sanctions in practice. 

Since July 2014, the government of Ukraine has officially ceased functioning of all ports of the occupied peninsula, therefore, ships entering them are considered to be violators of the Ukrainian border. Earlier, the ARC prosecutor's office reported that official Kiev arrested another 44 aircraft of Russian airlines that violated a similar ban on flights to Crimea. In the meantime, Rosaviatsia has agreed on discounted flights to the peninsula from 12 cities in Russia.

Ukrainian international lawyer Vladimir Vasilenko, believes that
- As long as the Russian propaganda machine creates virtual reality with the Crimean referendum, we will not get anywhere. Ukraine's position is based on the UN Charter, on modern international law. If the Russian authorities do not begin to fulfill their obligations under international law, this conflict will continue forever. In such a situation, Ukraine has only one way out - to impose individual sanctions against Russia as against an aggressor state and persuade our partners in the international arena to do the same. So far, I believe that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is not finalizing it. It is necessary to clearly raise the question during negotiations with all states: there are violations of international law, there are sanctions in national legislation - and partners are required to help in their application.

Volodymyr Vasilenko is convinced that in this way Ukraine will be able to achieve arrests of ships or aircraft if they end up on the territory of other countries.

Ukrainian transport analyst Maxim Gardus points out that not only ships under Russian flags enter the ports of Crimea, closed by the decision of the Ukrainian government.

- Judging by the analytical reports, these are ships using the flags of Turkey, Egypt, Syria and Romania. In addition, there are so-called free flag states that simply sell the right to use their flag - Panama and others. It seems to me that their owners will be anxious about the information about the arrests, this can really affect shipping - I'm talking about real foreign ships. As for the Russians, no matter what flag they fly, there is hardly any reaction on their part. These are small vessels, which are mainly engaged in coastal navigation. They work like ferries: they leave from Novorossiysk or Taman, go to the Crimea and back. In reality, they do not float outside the jurisdiction of Russia, but excesses are always possible: ships are sold, bought, and the owners of arrested ships will have their hands tied.


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