Berlin Calls Moscow’s Decision to Partly Restrict Access to Black Sea ‘Problematic’

BERLIN (Sputnik) – The German Foreign Ministry on Monday denounced Russia’s decision to close parts of the Black Sea for six months as an unprecedented move that violated international law.

“As for the restrictions on the so-called innocent passage through the [Black Sea] territorial waters for such a long period, they are unprecedented and problematic from the point of view of international law. Since we are talking about the international and territorial waters of the illegally annexed Crimea, we consider this to be in violation of international law”, German Foreign Ministry spokesman Christofer Burger said, adding that Berlin was closely monitoring the situation.

On 14 April, the Russian Defence Ministry’s department of navigation and oceanography released a bulletin stating that from 24 April to 31 October, there will be no passage through the territorial sea of Russia for foreign warships and vessels in three water areas of the Black Sea. The bulletin noted that the zones planned for closure would not prevent the navigation through the Kerch Strait and are located within the Russian territorial waters.

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