Monday, June 27, 2016


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In A First, Mexico 'Returns' Crimea Vessel To Ukraine

A screengrab from the website Marinetraffic.com listing the specifications of the Crimean ship Titan-2
A screengrab from the website Marinetraffic.com listing the specifications of the Crimean ship Titan-2
By Anna Shamanska

Ukraine's state gas company says Mexican prosecutors have ordered a seized ship belonging to a Crimean company to be returned to Ukraine rather than Russia.

Naftogaz, the ultimate owner of the ship, published the announcement on its website on February 18. 

The ship, Titan-2, belongs to Chornomornaftogaz, a Naftogaz subsidiary registered in Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula whose forced annexation by Russia in 2014 triggered international condemnation and Western sanctions against Moscow.

The vessel had been leased and subleased since 2003, until its latest operator, the Mexican company Oceanografia SA de CV, went bankrupt. Local financial institutions then seized the ship.

"This is the first case that another country's authorities have officially recognized the ownership rights of Chornomornaftogaz, which was re-registered in Kyiv after the Russian occupation of Crimea, of its property," the statement reads.

Titan-2 is a crane vessel designed to assemble, service, and disassemble floating drilling platforms. The transfer of the ship to Ukraine would give Kyiv the decision on how it should be used going forward.

Mexico's prosecutor's office has not publicly commented on the case.

In the first 10 months after Russia's takeover of Crimea, the Kremlin-imposed authorities on the peninsula seized more than $1 billion in real estate and other assets from Ukrainian owners, the New York Times has estimated. 

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said on January 6 that it would consider a case presented by Ihor Kolomoyskiy, Ukraine's third-richest person, who claims that he lost $15 million after the annexation because he was deprived of the right his company had to operate a passenger terminal at Crimea's Sevastopol International Airport until 2020. 

As of September 2015, Ukraine estimated its losses from the Crimea annexation to be 1.2 trillion hryvnas ($55.5 billion). 

In January, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Ukraine would file lawsuits against Russia in international courts over the Kremlin's seizure of the peninsula. 
 

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Baldur Dasche from: Uzbekhstan
February 18, 2016 22:50
If the vessel had been anchored in Ukraine when the plebiscite removed it from Ukraine, it might well have been siezed with other assets that reverted to the ownership of the new authority. It was in Mexico, the company that owned it was no longer registered or in business in Crimea, why should Crimea get the barge?

Was Crimea fighting the transfer? I'd be the Mexican company's debtors were.

by: Joseph Martin from: Virginia Beach, USA
February 19, 2016 23:30
Mexico has made the correct decision. The Crimea annexation was against the best interests of Planet Earth. Russia may have had a reasonable historical case for its claim, but we can not let our children and grandchildren inherit a planet that still resorts to drawing blood to feed the egos of the powerful.
In Response

by: Isa
February 20, 2016 16:55
Russia had no "reasonable historic case". Crimea is rightfully Ukrainian. Period.
In Response

by: Bo from: Naples, FL
February 24, 2016 08:52
The only historical owners were the Crimean Tatars who were exiled by Stalin, allowed to return by Ukraine in the 1990'2 and co-existed with Ukraine as a "sub-autonomous" region under Ukraine's Constitution,with their own Parliament. In the 1991 Referendum on independence, Crimea voted 65% for independence from Russia and the USSR. Now, they are again under the heel of the Russians.

About This Blog

Using regional media and the reporting of Current Time's wide network of correspondents, Anna Shamanska will tell stories about people and society you are unlikely to read anywhere else.   

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