Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the denunciation of the agreement with Ukraine on cooperation in the use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, effectively banning the use and declaring the shores his own. The corresponding document is published on the official Internet portal of legal information.
The explanatory note states that the shores of these waters now belong only to Russia after the "attachment" of new regions.
At the same time, the Verkhovna Rada denounced all agreements on cooperation with Russia in the Sea of Azov on the anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, February 24, 2023, MP Yaroslav Zheleznyak reported .
The agreement determined the procedure for joint Russian-Ukrainian activities in the field of navigation, fishing, protection of the marine environment, environmental safety, as well as search and rescue in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.
The explanatory note to the Russian bill justifies the actions of the Russian Federation by the seizure of Ukrainian territories, which, according to the statements of the Russian authorities, were “annexed”:
“As a result of the admission to the Russian Federation of the DPR, the Zaporozhye region and the Kherson region, Ukraine lost the status of a coastal state in relation to the Azov-Kerch water area, the Sea of Azov became an inland sea of the Russian Federation. In this regard, the Treaty has lost its relevance and it is proposed to denounce it.
The draft law on the denunciation of the treaty was submitted by Putin to the State Duma on May 24, the day before the denunciation of the treaty by the Ukrainian side entered into force. On June 1, this agreement was denounced by the State Duma.
The treaty was signed by Putin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma in Kerch on 24 December 2003 and ratified by Russia on 22 April 2004. The document noted the importance of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait for the economic development of the two countries, as well as the need to preserve the Azov-Kerch water area as an integral economic and natural complex.