- Title: Moscow court leaves Ukrainian sailors in pretrial detention
- Date: 16th August 2019
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (AUGUST 16, 2019) (REUTERS) SAILORS' LAWYER NIKOLAI POLOZOV TALKING TO MEDIA IN FRONT OF COURT (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) UKRAINIAN SAILORS' LAWYER NIKOLAI POLOZOV, SAYING: "After considering our appeals, the Moscow City court have made a decision to uphold the decision of Lefortovo district court, so the sailors will remain in custody until October 24." POLOZOV ON PHONE SCREEN (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) UKRAINIAN SAILORS' LAWYER NIKOLAI POLOZOV, SAYING: "I hope that the political decision will be made, it's in the Russian Federation's interests. Here the question is not just about the destiny of the sailors, this is an institutional issue about compliance with decisions of the international authorities, including the decision of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea. The non-compliance with its orders could bring serious economic and political consequences, as the West will proceed from the logic 'if Russia does not comply with the decisions of the International Tribunal today, then tomorrow nobody will' and this means destruction of all the international institutions and agreements." MEDIA VARIOUS OF MOSCOW CITY COURT
- Embargoed: 30th August 2019 13:47
- Keywords: Ukraine Russia sailors court Moscow City Court lawyer Nikolai Polozov Kerch strait detained sailors
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- City: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002ASGX0EF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The Moscow city court on Friday (August 16) upheld the previous court ruling to keep the Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia off the coast of Crimea in custody despite recent talks between Moscow and Kiev on a possible prisoner swap.
Russia captured three Ukrainian vessels and their crews in November 2018 in territorial waters that separate Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014, and Russia.
Moscow accuses the sailors of illegally entering Russian waters, something Kiev denies.
The court on Friday (August 16) denied an appeal of the sailors' lawyers to release them from pretrial detention and allow them to go back to Ukraine, despite talks that an agreement had been reached between Moscow and Kiev to exchange prisoners this month.
President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's newly elected President Volodymyr Zelenskiy discussed a possible return of prisoners when they spoke by phone for the first time in July.
Ukraine's foreign ministry protested the Moscow court rulings in a statement, saying that they complicated already tense relations between the countries and contravened a ruling by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.
The Hamburg-based tribunal said in May that Moscow should release the sailors immediately. The Kremlin rebuffed that call saying the court did not have jurisdiction to make the ruling.
Ties between Russia and Ukraine have been in crisis since Crimea's annexation in 2014 and the outbreak that same year of a pro-Russian separatist uprising in eastern Ukraine.
Kiev's forces have been battling the separatists since then in a conflict that has claimed more than 13,000 lives. Sporadic fighting continues despite a ceasefire agreement.
(Production: Maria Stromova / Dmitry Madorsky)
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