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Statement on the illegal restriction on the freedom of navigation imposed by the Russian Federation in the Black Sea

Delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 16 April 2021.

Madame Chair,

Norway is deeply concerned by the reports that the Russian Federation plans to close areas of the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait to state vessels of other countries due to military exercises.

Norway urges Russia to reverse this provocative measure and to honour its obligations under International Law, including the Law of the Sea, and under international agreements to which it is party. Norway attaches great importance to the right to freedom of navigation under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Ukrainian and other countries’ vessels must have unimpeded access to all Ukrainian ports, including those on the Sea of Azov.

Norway reiterates its strong support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, including its territorial waters.

Thank you