UN Maritime Court Orders Russia To Release Ukrainian Sailors

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UN Maritime Court Orders Russia To Release Ukrainian Sailors
At the time of the incident, Russia said the Ukrainian vessels were in its waters illegally, but Ukraine said it had a right to use the Strait.
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A United Nations maritime court demanded that Russia immediately release 24 detained Ukrainian sailors. Russia captured the sailors in November, when three Ukrainian naval vessels tried crossing through the Kerch Strait

For perspective, the Strait is an important shipping route for several Ukrainian port cities, but it runs by Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

At the time, Russia said the Ukrainian vessels were in its waters illegally, but Ukraine said it had a right to use the Strait and warned Russia that it planned to pass through. 

At the end of March, Ukraine started proceedings with the U.N.'s International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. On Saturday, the court ordered Russia to release the sailors and ships. It also urged both countries to avoid actions that would further escalate the dispute.

A Russian state-run news agency wrote that Russian officials didn't attend the tribunal's hearings because the country didn't think the court had the authority to review the incident.