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Contracting Parties  >   United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea > Russian Federation 

 
Date
SignatureDecember 10, 1982
RatificationMarch 12, 1997
Entry into forceApril 11, 1997

Declarations, Reservations etc.

Declaration made upon ratification:
"The Russian Federation declares that, in accordance with article 298 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, it does not accept the procedures, provided for in section 2 of Part XV of the Convention, entailing binding decisions with respect to disputes concerning the interpretation or application of articles 15, 74 and 83 of the Convention, relating to sea boundary delimitations, or those involving historic bays or titles; disputes concerning military activities, including military activities by government vessels and aircraft, and disputes concerning law-enforcement activities in regard to the exercise of sovereign rights or jurisdiction; and disputes in respect of which the Security Council of the United Nations is exercising the functions assigned to it by the Charter of the United Nations.
The Russian Federation, bearing in mind articles 309 and 310 of the Convention, declares that it objects to any declarations and statements made in the past or which may be made in future when signing, ratifying or acceding to the Convention, or made for any other reason in connection with the Convention, that are not in keeping with the provisions of article 310 of the Convention. The Russian Federation believes that such declarations and statements, however phrased or named, cannot exclude or modify the legal effect of the provisions of the Convention in their application to the party to the Convention that made such declarations or statements, and for this reason they shall not be taken into account by the Russian Federation in its relations with that party to the Convention."

Objections made on February 25, 1985:
"The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics considers that the statement made by the Philippines upon signature, and then confirmed upon ratification, of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in essence contains reservations and exceptions to the Convention, which is prohibited under article 309 of the Convention. At the same time, the statement of the Philippines is incompatible with article 310 of the Convention, under which a State, when signing or ratifying the Convention, may make declarations or statements only "provided that such declarations or statements do not purport to exclude or to modify the legal effect of the provisions of this Convention in their application to that State".
The discrepancy between the Philippine statement and the Convention can be seen, inter alia , from the affirmation by the Philippines that "The concept of archipelagic waters is similar to the concept of internal waters under the Constitution of the Philippines, and removes straits connecting these waters with the economic zone or high sea from the rights of foreign vessels to transit passage for international navigation". Moreover, the statement emphasizes more than once that, despite its ratification of the Convention, the Philippines will continue to be guided in matters relating to the sea, not by the Convention and the obligations under it, but by its domestic law and by agreements it has already concluded which are not in line with the Convention. Thus, the Philippines not only is evading the harmonization of its legislation with the Convention but also is refusing to fulfil one of its most fundamental obligations under the Convention namely, to respect the régime of archipelagic waters, which provides that foreign ships enjoy the right of archipelagic passage through, and foreign aircraft the right of overflight over, such waters.
In view of the foregoing, the USSR cannot recognize as lawful the statement of the Philippnes and considers it to be without legal effect in the light of the provisions of the Convention.
Furthermore, the Soviet Union is gravely concerned by the fact that, upon signing the Convention, a number of other States have also made statements of a similar type conflicting with the Convention. If such statements are also made later on, at the ratification stage or upon accession to the Convention, the purport and meaning of the Convention, which establishes a universal and uniform régime for the use of the oceans and seas and their resources, could be undermined and this important instrument of international law impaired.
Taking into account the statement of the Philippines and the statements made by a number of other countries upon signing the Convention, together with the statements that might possibly be made subsequently upon ratification of and accession to the Convention, the Permanent Mission of the USSR considers that it would be appropriate for the Secretary-General of the United Nations to conduct, in accordance with article 319, paragraph 2 (a), a study of a general nature on the problem of ensuring universal application of the provisions of the Convention, including the question of the harmonization of the national legislation of States with the Convention. The results of such a study should be included in the report of the Secretary-General to the United Nations General Assembly at its fortieth session under the agenda item entitled "Law of the sea"."

Declarations made upon signature:
"1. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics declares that, under article 287 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, it chooses an arbitrary tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII as the basic means for the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention. It opts for a special arbitrary tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VIII for the consideration of matters relating to fisheries, the protection and preservation of the marine environment, marine scientific research, and navigation, including pollution from vessels and dumping. It recognizes the competence of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, as provided for in article 292, in matters relating to the prompt release of detained vessels and crews.
2. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics declares that, in accordance with article 298 of the Convention, it does not accept the compulsory procedures entailing binding decisions for the consideration of disputes relating to sea boundary delimitation, disputes concerning military activities, or disputes in respect of which the Security Council of the United Nations is exercising the functions assigned to it by the Charter of the United Nations."

Additional Information

Signature, ratification and objections made by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.