Russia's plan to temporarily restrict the movement of foreign warships in part of the Black Sea will not affect the nearby Kerch Strait. It is signaling lower risks for regional trade from Russia-Ukraine tensions.
Russian Defense Ministry said that the right of passage of foreign warships and "other state ships" will be suspended in three spots near Crimea's Black Sea coast from April 24 until October 31. But the planned restrictions will not affect navigation in the Kerch Strait or its entry points.
The Kerch Strait is a crucial part of the regional grain trade connecting the Azov Sea with the Black Sea. The area is also close to military drills, which Moscow and Kyiv held simultaneously this week.
The Ukrainian foreign ministry said on Thursday that Russia's actions to close off parts of the Black Sea to foreign warships were illegal.
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As it was reported earlier, Russia was going to block Kerch Strait for warships for six months. And the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expressed a strong protest.