The decision of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to free Ukrainian sailors, whom Russia seized together with ships in the Kerch Strait in 2018, is illegitimate. This incident is not under the jurisdiction of the International Tribunal.
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an independent judicial body that deals with legal disputes based on the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Russia's seizure of warships and military personnel violates the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and customary international law, which guarantees the full immunity of naval ships and their personnel.
At a meeting in Hamburg on 25 May, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered Russia to immediately release 24 captured Ukrainian servicemen, and also to return to the control of Ukraine warships Berdyansk, Nikopol and Yany-Kapu. The court also stated that it did not find evidence of the Russian version of a provocation by Ukraine in the Kerch Strait.