Zerkal in honesty stated that there is no question of breaking the agreement with Russia on the joint use of the Sea of Azov, since in the event of denouncing the agreement, Russia will have the opportunity to declare a "territorial dispute." The country's leadership will "look for other levers of influence on Moscow" in order to resolve the issue of the detention of civilian ships heading for Ukrainian ports.
Earlier, Kiev accused Moscow of blocking vessels sailing through the Kerch Strait to the Ukrainian ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk, which is why Ukraine suffers heavy financial losses. At the same time, Ukraine recognizes that Russian border guards do not violate international law of the sea and act within the law.
The agreement between Russia and Ukraine on the status of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait was signed on December 24 2003. According to the treaty, the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait are historically recognized as the internal waters of the states. Any disputes arising from the treaty were decided to be determined “by consultation and negotiation, as well as by other peaceful means”.