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Free navigation: International Maritime Organization to send mission to help Ukraine

8 December, 2023 Friday
21:29

The International Maritime Organization will send a mission to identify Ukraine's needs for the right to free navigation in the context of the war with Russia

This was reported by the Ministry of Reconstruction of Ukraine. 

"This decision formed the basis of the resolution "On the impact of the Russian armed invasion of Ukraine on international shipping" adopted by the Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The results of the mission's work will be formed into a long-term technical assistance project for Ukraine," the statement said. 

According to Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, this decision, as well as the fact that Russia was not elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organization for 2023-2024, demonstrates the protection of the international maritime community's right to free navigation of each country. 

In addition, the Assembly noted Ukraine's efforts to ensure free navigation in the Black Sea, including the creation of a grain corridor for civilian vessels.

Information on the 'grain corridor'

On 17 July, Russia announced the termination of the grain deal. In response, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that it was necessary to continue using the grain corridor even despite Russia's withdrawal from the agreement. 

On August 4, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov said that Ukraine would send ships with its own grain to wherever it deems necessary and would not ask anyone for permission.

On August 10, the Ukrainian Navy announced a temporary humanitarian corridor for merchant ships sailing to and from Ukrainian ports.

On August 12, Ukraine opened the registration of merchant ships and their owners who are ready to use temporary routes to Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea.

On August 16, the first vessel left the port of Odesa after Russia announced that it would terminate the grain deal on July 16, 2023.

On August 25, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan. The politicians discussed, among other things, the grain deal. Fidan stated that Ankara sees "no alternative" to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the original grain deal that Ukraine and Russia concluded with the mediation of the UN and Turkey.

On August 26, the second vessel left the port of Odesa, and on September 1, two more vessels blocked due to the war left the port of Pivdennyi in the Odesa region.

On September 4, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, following a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, expressed hope that an agreement on the Black Sea Grain Initiative would be reached in a short time.

On September 16, the blocked bulk carrier PUMA (Cayman Islands) left the Odesa seaport. The vessel was loaded with 16,000 tons of metal and 14,000 tons of rapeseed.

On the same day, Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said that the first civilian ships had confirmed their readiness to use the route to the Chornomorsk port to load almost 20,000 tons of wheat for Africa and Asia.

In September, Ukraine exported 3.6 million tons of agricultural products. At the same time, almost 700,000 tons of grain have been exported since the launch of the new grain corridor, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.

On October 26, media reported that the grain corridor had allegedly been temporarily shut down, but the Ministry of Infrastructure denied the rumors, noting that Ukrainian ports continue to handle ships.

On November 14, Ukraine, together with a pool of British insurance companies, created a special mechanism to make the grain corridor more accessible to exporters.

Also on November 14, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukraine intends to remain a guarantor of food security for many countries, particularly on the African continent.

Later, it was reported that since August 8, 200 vessels have exported 7 million tons of cargo from the ports of Greater Odesa via the Ukrainian Corridor established by the Ukrainian Navy.


 
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