November 30, 2018 / 1:53 PM / 9 months ago

Ukraine files complaint against Russia at European rights court

Three Ukrainian naval ships (L), which were recently seized by Russia's FSB security service, are seen anchored in a port in Kerch, Crimea November 28, 2018. REUTERS/Alla Dmitrieva

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - Ukraine has filed a complaint against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights for firing on three of its ships and boarding them on Sunday, the court said.

The incident, which took place in the Kerch Strait that separates the Sea of ​​Azov from the Black Sea, caused several injuries among the 24 Ukrainian sailors taken prisoner.

A court statement on Friday said Ukraine had asked it to intervene to ensure the wellbeing of its sailors. Moscow accuses them of illegally crossing the Russian border and failing to comply with orders to stop.

“The Ukrainian government has asked in particular that Russia provide medical care to the wounded sailors and provide information on the state of health of the crew members. It also asks that the sailors be treated as prisoners of war,” the statement said.

The court said it had asked the Russian government for information about the condition of the sailors’ detention.

The complaint, the fifth by Ukraine against Russia since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014, could take several months or years to be dealt with by the court.

Reporting by Gilbert Reilhac; editing by John Irish, Richard Balmforth

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