Ukraine has accused Russia of looting two of its oil rigs after the Crimea-based oil and gas firm Chornomornaftogaz moved the Black Sea rigs into Russian territorial waters.
Russia seized Chornomornaftogaz, formerly a state-owned Ukrainian company, when it illegally annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
On December 14, Chornomornaftogaz said it moved the two oil rigs, worth about $357 million, from a location in international waters about 150 kilometers off the coast from Odesa.
It said the move was due to “the complicated international situation and risk of losing vital assets.”
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry on December 16 described the move as “large-scale looting” by Russia.
It expressed “deep indignation in connection with the actions of Russia that violate international law, once again aimed at violating the sovereign rights of Ukraine.”
Ukraine’s state-run energy firm Naftogaz, which owned 100 percent of Chornomornaftogaz before it was seized, says it will seek compensation from Russia in international courts for its annexed Crimean oil and gas assets -- worth a total of $15.7 billion.