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Russia stripped of its Danube Commission membership over attacks on Lower Danube in Ukraine

Friday, 15 December 2023, 13:19
Russia stripped of its Danube Commission membership over attacks on Lower Danube in Ukraine
Stock photo: Getty Images

The Danube Commission has decided to revoke Russia’s membership rights because of its missile and drone strikes on the Lower Danube in Ukraine.

Source: Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba 

Details: The Commission made this decision at its 100th anniversary meeting under Ukraine’s presidency. 

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Russia must withdraw from the organisation by 29 February 2024. If it does not, the Commission’s members will not recognise their obligations to the Russian Federation under the Belgrade Convention regarding the Regime of Navigation on the Danube.

This decision is a response to the violation of the principles of free and safe navigation on the Danube.

It is also based on the Commission’s decision, adopted on 17 March 2022, to revoke the powers of Russia’s representatives, prohibit them from participating in all meetings and exclude them from the Commission’s secretariat.

Background: 

The Danube Commission is an international intergovernmental organisation established by the Convention regarding the Regime of Navigation on the Danube, which was signed in Belgrade on 18 August 1948. Its main goals are to develop free navigation on the Danube for merchant ships, forge economic and cultural connections, and so on.

Following Russia’s exclusion, the commission will consist of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine.

In total, during November and December:

  • Russia was expelled from the Council of the International Maritime Organisation.
  • Russia’s representative failed to be elected to the International Court of Justice.
  • Russia became the first country in history to be expelled from UNESCO’s Executive Board.
  • For the first time, Russia failed to win a seat on the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

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