Crimea news: Russia illegally explores natural resources in Ukraine's marine economic zone

17:27 Jul. 17, 2016

Russia illegally explores natural resources in Ukraine's marine economic zone

The rig Tavrida, belonging to Ukraine's Chornomornaftogaz, in the Black Sea, 2002 (UNIAN Photo)

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry preparing an official note to be presented to Moscow

Russia continues violating international maritime laws and sovereign rights of Ukraine as that of a coastal state for exploring and developing natural resources in its territorial sea and continental shelf.

This is reported by Ukraine's State Border Service.

Read also Russia preparing to drill for oil in Ukraine's marine economic zone

On July 16-17, the jack-up-rig 'Sivash' was towed off the port Chornomorske (the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea) to the Holitsyno gas field, which is located in Ukraine's exclusive (maritime) economic zone.

Ukraine's State Border Service reported, it is the jack-up-rig (belonging to Ukrane's company Chornomornaftogaz) that was illegally seized by Russia during its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

"This is related to Russia's illegal offshore drilling operations in Ukraine, which grossly violates the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and Ukraine's Law "On the exclusive (maritime) economic zone of Ukraine", said the statement.

While observing the gas field, Ukrainian border guards spotted armed people near the drilling rigs and platforms. The State Border Service informed Ukrainian relative ministries and agencies on the incident.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry is preparing an official note to be submitted to the Kremlin authorities.

Read also Ukraine urges global community not to cooperate with Russian museums

Chornomornaftogaz is part of Naftogaz Ukraine and specializes in exploring and producing oil and gas in the Black and Azov Seas. In 2014, drilling rigs and other property of Chornomornaftogaz were seized during the Russian annexation of the Crimea. As a result, Naftogaz Ukraine has lost control of its Crimean enterprises.

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