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Freedom of navigation for Ukraine's Black Sea ports

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Authors: Cam.fl. (rtr.) Sorin Learschi

The Russian Defense Ministry has modified the exit corridor of foreign ships from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.

Kiev is responsible for the safe exit of ships from Ukrainian ports and their passage into the assembly area, Colonel General Mizintsev said on May 26.

The humanitarian corridor, through which foreign ships can leave Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, has been adjusted and now stretches over 139 nautical miles with a width of 3 miles, Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the Russian interdepartmental coordination headquarters for humanitarian response, was quoted as saying by russian news agency TASS.

In order to ensure the safe exit of foreign ships from the ports of Odessa, Nikolaev, Chernomorsk, Kherson, Ochakov and Yuzhny on the high seas, the Russian Armed Forces made adjustments to the route of the humanitarian corridor. As of May 27, 2022, the humanitarian maritime corridor is a route for the movement of ships. It has a length of 139 nautical miles with a width of 3 miles.

Colonel General Mizintsev Mizintsev

The corridor operates daily between 08.00 and 19.00, Moscow time.

Russia is ready to provide a humanitarian corridor for food ships to leave Ukraine in exchange for sanctions to be lifted, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko was quoted as saying by Interfax and Reuters on Wednesday, May 25.

And it also requires the demining by the Ukrainian side of all ports in which ships are anchored. Russia is ready to provide the necessary humanitarian passage, which it does every day. Russia is in contact with the United Nations in this regard.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko

Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of drifting mines in the Black Sea.

Rudenko also said, quoted by Interfax, that a possible escorting by Western ships of Ukrainian vessels carrying grain would “seriously exacerbate the situation in the Black Sea”..

Two unlocking modes are discussed. The first is the military one: the supply of Ukraine to a sufficient number of anti-ship missiles with a range of action, allowing Ukraine to be able to retaliate and protect commercial ships itself. The second way is an operation like the Ocean Shield in the Gulf of Aden, in which NATO convoys escorted merchant ships to ports, protecting them from Somali pirates. It doesn’t have to be a NATO convoy. It could be a convoy provided by the countries of the Black Sea region, which are also NATO countries, but they can mark it as their own efforts. These are Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. They can help us with that.

Roksolana Pidlasa, Member of Parliament of Ukraine

According to Prime Minister Denis Shmigal, Ukraine is losing $170 million a day through blocked ports, and its export capacity has fallen by more than half. Ukraine is afraid of a Russian Trojan horse and will not deminee the Odessa port for grain export

Ukraine refuses to deminate the port of Odessa in order to be able to resume the export of grain because Russian forces could exploit the situation to attack the city, regional administration spokesman Sergiy Bratchuk said on Wednesday, according to Agerpres, which quotes AFP.

If the mines were removed, Russia “would want to attack; he dreams of parachuting troops,” the official said in a video message on Telegram.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet will simulate a retreat to annexed Crimea. But as soon as we deminate the access to the port of Odessa, the Russian fleet will be there.

Serghi Bratciuk, spokesman for the Odessa regional administration

At the request of the UN, Turkey offered its help in escorting sea convoys from Ukrainian ports, despite the presence of mines, detected as far as the Turkish coast.

The intensification of Russia’s activity in serpents’ island caught makes it possible to blockade the Ukrainian coast and prevents the restoration of maritime trade, including the export of Ukrainian grain.

The strategic position of Snake Island, correlated with the existence of A2/AD devices in Crimea and the presence at sea of ships of the Russian Federation, allow Russia to block the traffic of commercial vessels to Ukraine, thus prohibiting imports and exports at sea.

In the existing situation in Odessa, freedom of navigation can be executed only with ships, a strong defense at the coast is not enough. And the only solution is the UN General Assembly, which can meet in a special emergency session and issue a resolution in support of the state subject to aggression, which must be adopted by two-thirds of the UN members present with the right to vote.

Following this resolution, states can provide naval support to Ukraine by facilitating export in this way. The resolution will also allow ships to be present in the Black Sea for a long time without being subject to the provisions of the Montreux Convention.


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