- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
What to Study?
- For Prelims: Location of Azov Sea and Kerch strait.
- For Mains: Conflict on Azov sea between Russia and Ukraine, its political implications, impact on other countries, what needs to be done?
Context: The EU has decided to sanction eight Russian nationals for their responsibility in incidents in the Azov Sea last November.
The Ukraine-Russia conflict flared up when Russian forces seized three Ukrainian vessels and captured two dozen sailors as they tried to pass from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov.
About the conflict in the Sea of Azov:
Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of violating international maritime law. They refer to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which both states joined in the 1990s.
Ukraine insists on freedom of movement in the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov in accordance with this agreement, while the Russian side is trying to draw territorial borders. The countries also have a bilateral agreement on the free use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, an accord that Russia has never called into question.
Why the Kerch Strait is important?
The Kerch Strait is the only connection between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, and the only way to reach two important Ukrainian ports, Mariupol and Berdiansk. Russia has controlled the strait since annexing Crimea in 2014, which has made traffic significantly more difficult for Ukrainian ships.
About Sea of Azov:
- It is a sea in Eastern Europe. To the south it is linked by the narrow (about 4 km or 2.5 mi) Strait of Kerch to the Black Sea, and it is sometimes regarded as a northern extension of the Black Sea.
- The sea is bounded in the north and in the west by Ukraine, in the east by Russia.
- The Don and Kuban are the major rivers that flow into it.
- The Sea of Azov is the shallowest sea in the world, with the depth varying between 0.9 and 14 metres.
Sources: the hindu.