Ukraine says panel has jurisdiction to hear Russia case

Ukraine has accused Russia of "wholesale violations" of its mineral resources and fishing rights in the Black Sea and other waters bordered by the two countries as Kiev urges international arbitrators to hear a case about alleged Russian breaches of a United Nations maritime treaty.

Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Olena Zerkal told a five-judge arbitration panel on Tuesday that Russia's objections to the panel's jurisdiction "are without legal merit."

Lawyers representing Moscow urged the arbitration panel Monday to throw out Ukraine's claim for lack of jurisdiction, arguing that the dispute is actually about sovereignty over the Crimean Peninsula and falls outside the terms of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Zerkal says that the arbitration tribunal has jurisdiction to decide any disputes arising from the convention.