Dedicated Russian thread

It comes back to your apparent belief that the UK government's well-known position over the annexation of Crimea disqualifies this country from exercising the right of innocent passage, by sending a vessel on the shortest transit route between A and B.
It's not my belief on the qualification or otherwise, it's my understanding of the Russian position.

UNCLOS rules don't determine issues of sovereignty and their practical application is often down to whose assertions of sovereignty can be backed up.
 
Not quite. Article 19.1 is where the Russians seem to be making their case.

Meaning of innocent passage

1. Passage is innocent so long as it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal State. Such passage shall take place in conformity with this Convention and with other rules of international law.

In other words, whether this was 'innocent passage' or not ties directly into whether Crimea is part of Russia. Claiming that it was innocent is implicitly to claim that Crimea isn't Russian, which as far as Russia is concerned is a threat to the security of the coastal state.
It's a little more complicated than that. We dealt with this issue previously on this thread and someone cited a legal analysis which showed that the law of armed conflict comes into play as well, and it trumps innocent passage and the law of the sea in this instance.

Under the law of armed conflict Russia can define exclusion zones which override the right of innocent passage, but this applies only so long as there is an armed conflict taking place.

Essentially it boils down to those who are claiming that "innocent passage" applies are claiming that Russia are not at war with Ukraine and Crimea belongs to Russia and not Ukraine.

Those who say that it doesn't apply are saying there is an armed dispute taking place and as such exclusion zones can be defined which override any law of the sea provisions with regards to innocent passage.

People can take their pick, but they can't have their cake and eat it too by claiming that Russia illegally invaded and occupy Ukrainian Crimea while also claiming that other countries have the right of innocent passage through the conflict zone.
 
By ignoring Russian protests that the FoN caveats apply on the grounds that it's not Russia's territory to decide.
A situation which only comes about because of said protests - not by "mere transit".
 
An interesting read; intro and conclusion here, full text on the link.

'New developments in Russian long-range precision-guided weapons strongly support the idea that the country’s leadership has been giving a greater priority to non-nuclear strategic military deterrence. The cases of Ukraine and Syria demonstrate Russia’s willingness to use military force, and prove that its non-nuclear deterrent has matured from theoretical concept to firm reality.

'A picture is emerging of a flexible, integrated and versatile package of deterrence and war-fighting capabilities, with non-nuclear missile, electronic warfare and other systems complementing the nuclear arsenal that remains the foundation of Russia’s strategic deterrent.

'However, the growing emphasis on non-nuclear weapons is surrounded by uncertainty, both conceptually and practically. As a national security concept, Russian strategic deterrence is expansive, combining elements of containment, deterrence and coercion, military and non-military, nuclear and non-nuclear. For Russia, the value of nuclear weapons remains undiminished, certainly as a deterrent and arguably as a weapon.

'In anything less than large-scale high-intensity warfare, Russia’s non-nuclear strategic deterrent is valid conceptually and has clear practical utility. Not only do the cases of Ukraine and Syria demonstrate its willingness to use military force, but they also prove that the non-nuclear deterrent has matured from theory to practice. In a scenario involving a qualitative and quantitative peer or a superior force, the outcome would be different. Added to that, capability and capacity constraints and limitations abound. Yet notwithstanding these caveats, Russia’s non-nuclear deterrent still warrants attention.'


 
It's a little more complicated than that. We dealt with this issue previously on this thread and someone cited a legal analysis which showed that the law of armed conflict comes into play as well, and it trumps innocent passage and the law of the sea in this instance.

Under the law of armed conflict Russia can define exclusion zones which override the right of innocent passage, but this applies only so long as there is an armed conflict taking place.

Essentially it boils down to those who are claiming that "innocent passage" applies are claiming that Russia are not at war with Ukraine and Crimea belongs to Russia and not Ukraine.

Those who say that it doesn't apply are saying there is an armed dispute taking place and as such exclusion zones can be defined which override any law of the sea provisions with regards to innocent passage.

People can take their pick, but they can't have their cake and eat it too by claiming that Russia illegally invaded and occupy Ukrainian Crimea while also claiming that other countries have the right of innocent passage through the conflict zone.
Interesting points, but surely the question about "armed conflict" trumping "right of innocent passage" depends (as you said) on an armed conflict in Crimea being in progress now? - but not whether there was an armed conflict in Crimea 7 years ago.

Actually I don't accept your proposition that "those who are claiming that "innocent passage" applies are "claiming that Russia are not at war with Ukraine and Crimea belongs to Russia and not Ukraine."

I don't think that necessarily follows at all. Although of course you are entitled to disagree with them, there are opinions including academic legal articles available online which explicitly refer to both (1) the right of innocent passage and (2) what they consider the "illegal" annexation of Crimea.
 
Did Russia ever apologise or pay compensation when its Navy sank British fishing vessels in the North Sea in the early 1900s?
"Voluntary" compensation was paid to the fishermen after the Dogger Bank Incident. One boat was sunk and others damaged.
 
A situation which only comes about because of said protests - not by "mere transit".
And burglary only comes about because of owning valuable stuff.
 
Interesting points, but surely the question about "armed conflict" trumping "right of innocent passage" depends (as you said) on an armed conflict in Crimea being in progress now? - but not whether there was an armed conflict in Crimea 7 years ago. (...)
So Russia have no involvement in the ongoing war in Donbas and it's strictly an internal Ukrainian civil war? That's good to know.
 
So Russia have no involvement in the ongoing war in Donbas and it's strictly an internal Ukrainian civil war? That's good to know.
In Donbas. Not Crimea. You are arguing for Russia to derive legal benefit, in Crimean waters, from illegal actions in Donbas which in fairness they deny.
 
And the walker exercising a right of way past your house isn't a burglar.
He's not entirely innocent if he's walking across your garden while claiming he has a right to because it belongs to someone else.
 
In Donbas. Not Crimea. You are arguing for Russia to derive legal benefit, in Crimean waters, from illegal actions in Donbas which in fairness they deny.
So Crimea is not part of Ukraine then? Or are you claiming that Donbas is not part of Ukraine? Or both?
 
So Crimea is not part of Ukraine then? Or are you claiming that Donbas is not part of Ukraine? Or both?
Asking you the same question: "So Crimea is not part of Russia then?" We are going round in circles. Unlike HMS Defender which, while standing well off the coast, followed a recognised transit route between two ports.
 
Unlike HMS Defender which, while standing well off the coast, followed a recognised transit route between two ports.
The question remains of whether that route was open to navigation; and whether the closer had rights to close it.

It's lawfare in action - we assert A in order to activate international law in Way X, they assert B in order to activate it in Way Z.
 
Asking you the same question: "So Crimea is not part of Russia then?" We are going round in circles. Unlike HMS Defender which, while standing well off the coast, followed a recognised transit route between two ports.
The point is that the law of the sea and "freedom of navigation" are not absolutes. They can be trumped by other laws. You can't have your cake and eat it too by engaging in the doublethink of "Ukraine and Russia are at war" when talking about the occupation of Crimea and Donbas while also proclaiming that "Ukraine and Russia are at peace" when that happens to suit us better.
 
Interesting points, but surely the question about "armed conflict" trumping "right of innocent passage" depends (as you said) on an armed conflict in Crimea being in progress now? - but not whether there was an armed conflict in Crimea 7 years ago.

Actually I don't accept your proposition that "those who are claiming that "innocent passage" applies are "claiming that Russia are not at war with Ukraine and Crimea belongs to Russia and not Ukraine."

I don't think that necessarily follows at all. Although of course you are entitled to disagree with them, there are opinions including academic legal articles available online which explicitly refer to both (1) the right of innocent passage and (2) what they consider the "illegal" annexation of Crimea.
Well, let's mirror the situation. Let's suppose that
- Russia regards the Falklands as a part of Argentina
- Russia supplies Argentina with weapons including submarines, modern fighter-jets armed with hypersonic missiles
- Moscow sends its military personnel to Argentine to train the Argentinians.
- Argentina claims that it is ready 'to return' the Falklands (or the Malvinas) at any moment using all means including military force.
- Russian warships apparently gather intelligence being near to the archipelago.
Do you agree that in this imaginary situation Russian warships would merely 'exercise right' for 'innocent' passage?
Let's recall that
- The UK regards Crimea as a part of Ukraine
- The UK supplies Ukraine with weapons
- London sends its military personnel to Ukraine to train the Ukrainians.
- Ukraine claims that it is ready 'to return' Crimea at any moment using all means including military force.
- British warships apparently gather intelligence being near to the peninsular.
 
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Someone's trying to be clever; not very successfully.

Apples, oranges?
 
Someone's trying to be clever; not very successfully.

Apples, oranges?
Where his analogy fails is that the Falklanders haven't clearly stated a will to be part of Argentina and raised arms against the UK to achieve this.
 

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