Global tribunal in Hamburg tells Moscow to free Ukrainian sailors ‘immediately’

An international tribunal on Saturday urged Russia to release "immediately" 24 Ukrainian sailors seized last November off the Crimea peninsula.

Global tribunal in Hamburg tells Moscow to free Ukrainian sailors 'immediately'
In this file photo taken on November 28, 2018 a detained Ukrainian sailor is escorted to a car after a court hearing in Simferopol, Crimea. Photo: STR / AFP
“The Russian Federation must proceeed immediately to release the Ukrainian soldiers and allow them to return to the Ukraine,” said Judge Jin-Hyuan Paik at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, which is located in the German port city of Hamburg.
The tribunal judges additionally ruled Russia should “immediately” return three Ukrainian navy vessels it seized in the Kerch peninsula off Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014.
Ukraine took the matter to the tribunal last month although Russia does not recognise its jurisdiction to rule in the affair and has not sent representatives to the hearing.
“The tribunal ruling is a clear signal to Russia that it cannot violate international law with impunity,” Ukraine's vice minister for foreign affairs Olena Zerkal said on her Facebook page after the judgement.
Zerkal added Russia should “conform swiftly and wholly” with the ruling.
Russia has accused the sailors of violating its maritime borders. The Ukrainian sailors face up to six years in prison if found guilty in what Kremlin critics have warned could be a show trial.

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Macron, Scholz and Draghi meet Ukrainian president in Kyiv

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have met the Ukrainian president in Kyiv, after the trio travelled overnight by train from Poland.

Macron, Scholz and Draghi meet Ukrainian president in Kyiv

The three leaders left in the early hours of Thursday, arriving into Kyiv on Thursday morning. After a visit to the heavily-bombed town of Irpin, they met Ukraine’s leader Volodymyr Zelensky.

It is the first time that the leaders of the three European Union countries have visited Kyiv since Russia’s February 24th invasion of Ukraine, and the visit comes as Kyiv is pushing for membership of the EU.

Macron has been paying a two-day visit to Romania and Moldova to discuss the ongoing crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

There had been widespread speculation in France that he would combine the trip with a visit to Zelensky in Ukraine, but this was not confirmed until Thursday morning.

In a joint press conference with Romanian president Klaus Iohannis, Macron reiterated his desire that Ukraine should win the war, but added that eventually negotiations between Ukraine and Russia will be necessary.