Black Sea Fleet command closes the area since March 15 till March 22 around Sevastopol to fire missiles from the Black Sea fleet ships. Thus Russia closes the area not only for the passage of vessels but the air space above it as well. Obviously, Russia wants to prevent “sympathizing” to Ukraine NATO warships and aircrafts til the results of the referendum are announced. In turn, the Ukrainian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Haiduk, citing the violations the Russian side made while placing this request, considers it unacceptable because of the following reasons: 1. According to the Regulations on the use of Ukrainian airspace (approved on 29.03.02, #401 by Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine), the Russian side had to notify the Ukrainian side to conduct such activities not later than 10 days prior to the beginning of the activities and this has not been done; 2. Because of the damaged infrastructure of the coastal surveillance system of the Ukrainian Navy by the Russian troops, Ukrainian party is unable to fully ensure the safety of the affected maritime zones of passage by civilian vessels; 3. Since these areas (UK-D122 zone in particular) overlap with the main entrance to the Sevastopol bay, no commercial vessels will be able in the mean time to enter the port safely for loading and unloading, which would entail material costs for the owners of these ships, freight companies and Sevastopol budget; 4. Missile firing ships of the Black Sea Fleet of Russia do not contribute to the resolution of the already complex political and military situation in the Crimea and Sevastopol.
Translated by Vladimir Kolesnikov