The Russian Black Sea Fleet has not submitted documents to obtain the management rights for the Yalta lighthouse, the press service of the Ukrainian Ministry of Transport and Communications reported. The hydrographic service of the ministry manages all navigation and hydrographic equipment in the country, including the lighthouse in Yalta, the ministry claims, RBC
An inventory performed by the Ukrainian authorities at the Yalta Sea Port this year revealed cases of unauthorized connection of the electric facilities in the lighthouse to the port's electricity network.
The Yalta port has covered all operating expenses for the lighthouse, without any contribution from the Russian side to the facility's operation, Ukraine claims. In addition, Russia does not have any written agreements with the port to operate the lighthouse. The Russian authorities, in return, claim that Russia's Black Sea Fleet holds the rights for the facility based on the Black Sea Fleet agreement of 1997.
Igor Dygalo, aide to the chief of the Russian navy, said Monday that a dispute with Ukraine over a lighthouse on the Black Sea is subject to international agreements, which means unilateral decisions cannot be applied.
After Ukrainian officials seized the lighthouse, which Russia says belongs to its Black Sea Fleet hydrographic service, Igor Dygalo branded the Friday move a 'provocation' and reiterated that unilateral measures could not be considered valid.
"The Navy Command's standpoint remains unchanged, the lighthouse must be returned [to Russia]," he said, RIA Novosty informed.
In a sign that the spat is likely to continue to blight bilateral relations, Dygalo also said Ukrainian official had arrived at another facility early Monday morning, where they took photographs and video recordings.
In connection with the dispute, “Our Ukraine” Bloc made a Statement on the situation with Ukrainian lighthouses in the Crimea, press office of the Bloc reported.
“Our Ukraine” Bloc declares that illegal use of Ukrainian navigation and hydrographic objects (lighthouses, radio stations) by the Black Sea fleet of the Russian Federation poses a serious threat for the security of navigation in the Black Sea region. According to international sea law, the country on which territory such incidents happen will bear responsibility for potential catastrophes. That’s why possession and encroachment on navigation and hydrographic infrastructure of the Crimean autonomous republic by a foreign state rules out the possibility of control of security on the sea by Ukrainian side being deprived of this opportunity.
"We state that the Black Sea fleet of the Russian Federation undermines national security and does damage to Ukraine’s interests. We consider Russia’s delay with fulfillment of the court decision on transfer of the stated above objects to Ukraine as law violation, interference into internal affairs of our state and attempt to keep on a political and military hegemony in the region. “Our Ukraine” Bloc is convinced that all Ukrainian political forces are obliged to protect national interests, give an estimate to the situation and back the position of Ukraine’s leadership," reads the statement.
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