Ukrainian President Signs Law Expanding Control in Black Sea After Kerch Row

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The adoption of the law comes a month after a provocation by Ukrainian Navy ships in the Kerch Strait and violation of the Russian maritime border. Following the incident, Ukraine’s president introduced martial law in several regions of the country and the coast of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, but was terminated earlier this week.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed the law “On the adjacent zone of Ukraine”, backed by the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, on 6 December, 2018.

Putin: Kiev’s Provocation in Kerch Strait Likely Helped Poroshenko Rise in Polls

According to the law, the adjacent zone of Ukraine is an “open sea area adjacent to the territorial sea of Ukraine and whose outer border is at a distance of no more than 24 nautical miles [44.44 km], measured from the baselines, from which the width of the territorial sea of Ukraine is measured”, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s press service said on 29 December.

The newly-adopted law doubles the zone of Ukraine’s control in the Black Sea, and is aimed at the harmonisation of the country’s maritime legislation with the legislation of other Black Sea states and other parties to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the press service added.

Another goal of the law is to prevent smuggling and illegal ship visits to the closed ports of the “temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine”.

“Under the law, if a vessel…

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