On 25 November 2016 at the session of the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London a document “Safety and security of navigation in the North-Eastern part of the Black Sea”, submitted by Ukraine and Georgia, was considered and after an in-depth discussion it was agreed to begin monitoring situation with the security and safety of navigation in this part of the Black Sea.
In its statement at the IMO Committee’s session the representative of Ukraine underlined that in view of the continued illegal occupation by Russia of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and city of Sevastopol, Ukraine’s rights as the coastal state in maritime zones adjacent to Crimea in the Black Sea and Kerch Strait have been interfered and usurped by the aggressor state. This caused serious implications for Ukraine’s international obligations to provide for the safety and security of navigation, regulation of maritime traffic, protection of the marine environment, search and rescue. North-Eastern part of the Black Sea has literally turned into a “grey area” for international shipping that is being proved by the number of marine casualties and incidents, which have happened in maritime zones adjacent to Crimea only since the beginning of the year.
As expected, the delegation of the Russian Federation appealed to a political nature of the Ukrainian-Georgian paper, trying to withdraw its consideration from the agenda.
However, the vast majority of the delegations that spoke condemned the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and shared the security and safety of navigation concerns expressed by the Ukrainian side.
Consequently, for the first time the issue of security and safety of navigation in the North-Eastern part of the Black Sea, in particular in maritime zones adjacent to Crimea in the Black Sea and Kerch Strait, will receive special attention of the mentioned specialized agency of the United Nations.