Russia partially unlocks Ukrainian ports in Sea of Azov

Tue, 04.12.2018 11:59

Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan says Russia has partially unlocked Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov as ships are passing through the Kerch Strait toward the sea ports.

"Yes, Berdyansk and Mariupol ports are partially unlocked. Vessels make their way to the entrance and exit through the Kerch Strait toward Ukrainian ports. The Russian side stops the vessels and inspects them as before, but the movement is partially restored," the ministry's press service quoted Omelyan as saying on December 4.

According to the official, 17 ships are awaiting the green light to enter the Sea of Azov, while one vessel is waiting to exit. Another nine ships are moored to the berths in the ports. The ministry said the unblocking of the Ukrainian ports had become possible thanks to coordinated actions by the Ukrainian authorities, tough and unequivocal international reaction, as well as foreign media.

"Yesterday, we together with Deputy Minister of Defense Anatoly Petrenko and the head of the Ukraine's Sea Ports Administration held a joint press conference for foreign media at the port of Mariupol. We informed [them] about violations of international law by the Russian Federation, economic and geopolitical threats from blocking the Azov Sea ports. We also called on the international community to get united in defending democracy, peace, and freedom in Ukraine," he said. The minister says he expects that the Ukrainian ports will be fully unlocked in the coming days. The next step will be the release of 24 Ukrainian sailors held captive in Moscow, he added.

Source: UNIAN

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