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170 vessels wait for passage in either direction in Kerch Strait

State Border Guard Service of Ukraine thinks that Russia hold the silent economic blockade
14:11, 4 December 2018

Ministry of Temporary Occupied Territories and IDPs

About 170 vessels wait for the passage in either direction in Kerch Strait. Petro Tsyhykal,  Head of State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, made such statement as the Border Guard Service reported.

According to him, first, Russia passes its own and foreign ships flowing in Russian ports, and only then the ships flowing in the Ukrainian ports.

Related: Border Guard Service recommends Ukrainians to refrain from visiting Russia during martial law

“The silent economic blockade takes place. The regime has almost not changed, it is complicated. Consequently, this number of the vessels in the small strait influences the security of the navigation,” Tsyhykal said.

The service reminded that Russia’s actions contradict the international law and Treaty between Ukraine and Russia on the cooperation in the use of the Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait dated 2003. According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Kerch Strait is used for the international navigation.

Related: Russia partially unblocks Ukrainian ports in Azov Sea, - Infrastructure Minister

According to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, the number of the ships in Kerch Strait amounted more than 400 a few days ago.

“The state-aggressor deliberately makes Ukrainian and foreign merchant ships to wait for the passage for a long period of time. Meanwhile, the occupants direct their “efforts” exactly at the ships flowing in the Ukrainian ports,” the message said.

Related: Ukraine prepares lawsuit to UN international court due to Russia's aggression in Azov Sea

It is added that the Russians passed only seven ships in either direction to or from ports of Ukraine during the past 24 hours. At the same time, the priority of the passage in Kerch Strait was provided to the vessels under the flag of Russia or those flowing in or from the Russian ports. More than 20 such ships passed. Earlier the number of such ships amounted to 10 and 40 consequently.

“Besides the violations of the norms of the international law, Russia also does not consider the risk of the occurrence of the emergency situations due to the increase and accumulation of the ships at the anchorage points,” the service noted.

Related: Ukraine expresses protest against Russia at IMO over Russia's aggression in Azov

Earlier Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs reported that the vessels accidents were spotted in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov due to the blocking of the Kerch Strait by the Russian Federation.

As we reported, the Russian Federation has blocked the movement of civilian ships in the Sea of Azov due to the confrontation with the ships of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, which were passing from Odesa (the Black Sea) to Mariupol (the Sea of Azov).

Related: U.S. to insist on united response to Russia's aggression within NATO, - State Department

Russian Federation has lifted the restriction of movement of civilian vessels across Kerch Strait. The ships already cross it. According to the official who represents the Crimean occupant authorities, the decision took effect movement at about 4 am, November 26.

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