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17 May 201915:31

Joint statement by the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of the Netherlands on cooperation in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation and dispute settlement

1022-17-05-2019

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The Russian Federation and the Kingdom of the Netherlands seek to better support joint Russian-Dutch research in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation, which may include joint expeditions, and have agreed to allocate additional funds for this purpose.

The Russian Federation and the Kingdom of the Netherlands have also reached a complete and final settlement of all claims by both parties as a result of or in connection with any events related in some way to the presence of the Arctic Sunrise vessel, the Ladoga ship and the Prirazlomnaya platform in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Russian Federation in September 2013.

This confidential agreement is an example of the amicable settlement of disputes and is based on the following understanding:

– friendly relations and cooperation between the two states are maintained and advanced in the spirit of the UN Charter and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea;

– while exercising freedom of navigation in an EEZ, the flag state should duly consider the rights and obligations of the coastal state, including its sovereign rights to natural resources and man-made facilities in the EEZ or on the continental shelf;

– in exercising its rights and fulfilling its duties in the EEZ, the coastal state should duly consider the rights and obligations of the flag state as regards the vessels sailing under its flag in the EEZ, and relevant freedoms, including the freedom of navigation;

– recognition of the right to peaceful protest, which should be exercised at sea in accordance with universally recognised international regulations, procedures and practices, including the resolutions of the International Maritime Organisation;

– affirmation of the fact that whilst recognising the rights and obligations related to lawful and peaceful protests at sea, the International Maritime Organisation does not condone any actions that deliberately threaten human life, the marine environment or property;

– the importance of ensuring that protests at sea: (i) do not violate the laws of the coastal state adopted in conformity with international law; (ii) do not threaten human life, the marine environment or property; and (iii) do not lead to the delay or suspension of main operations;

– although the coastal state has to accept a certain level of disturbances caused by protests at sea, it has the right to take measures to prevent actions that do not meet the requirements mentioned in the previous paragraph, and to respond to them, including with criminal prosecution if necessary, considering the commitments of the flag state in this regard;

– such measures for prevention or response, including criminal prosecution if necessary, should meet the criteria of reasonableness, necessity and proportionality, including applicable international human rights standards.

– in fulfilling its obligation on effective enforcement of jurisdiction and control, the flag state should take necessary measures, including administrative ones, to make sure that the vessels sailing under its flag do not take part in actions that would undermine its commitments under international law.

The settlement reached by the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of the Netherlands does not prejudice their legal positions on either the afore-mentioned case or any other issue.

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