On Wednesday Ukraine took a first step in penalizing vessels which breach Ukrainian law and flout the UN resolution on Crimea by entering Crimean ports under Russian occupation.
At the initiative of the Prosecutor General’s Office, the ship Kanton, sailing under the flag of Tuvalu was arrested in the Kherson port, nine months after it is believed to have moored in the port of Sevastopol.
A Pechersky District Court ruling from March 24 allowed the application from the investigators to arrest Kanton and prohibit its use. Written notification has been served on the captain of the vessel, a Turkish national, that he is suspected of the crime under Article 332-1 § 2 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code (illegally entering occupied territory) and the relevant request for international assistance has been sent to the competent authorities in Turkey. The charges under that article carry a sentence of 3-5 years imprisonment with confiscation of the vessel.