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Kuleba: Russia excluded from Danube Commission due to its attacks on Odesa Oblast

by Dinara Khalilova March 1, 2024 10:52 PM 2 min read
A Panamanian cargo anchored on the Danube River close to the port of Izmail, Odesa Oblast, southwestern Ukraine on July 27, 2023. (STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)
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Russia was expelled from the Danube Commission, an international intergovernmental organization developing free navigation on the Danube River, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba reported on March 1.

The commission adopted a decision in December last year calling on Russia to leave the organization as its continuous attacks on the Lower Danube region, part of which lies in Ukraine’s Odesa Oblast, violated principles of the founding Belgrade Convention.

Russia could withdraw from the convention until Feb. 29 but did not do so, which means that, as of March 1, "the Danube States will no longer consider themselves bound by the obligations under the Belgrade Convention vis-a-vis the Russian Federation."

Other members of the Danube Commission include Ukraine, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Croatia.

Ukraine’s sea exports reach record monthly level since full-scale invasion
Ukraine exported eight million metric tons of goods through the Black Sea corridor in February, reaching a monthly record level since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, the Infrastructure Ministry reported on March 1.

The сommission has also imposed a fine on Russia for not paying contributions after being stripped of its powers in the organization in March 2022, Kuleba said on X (formerly Twitter).

"I thank the Danube Commission, our Danube partners, and everyone who helped make this historic decision. I urge all international organizations to follow suit, isolate Russian diplomats, and kick Russia out. Aggressors and terrorists have no place in any reputable international forums," he added.

The commission has not yet officially confirmed that the decision to expel Russia entered into force. Moscow has not commented either.

Following Moscow’s withdrawal from the UN-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative in July 2023, Russian forces launched a campaign of strikes against Ukraine’s port infrastructure and civilian facilities in Odesa Oblast, causing casualties and large-scale damage.

Debris from Russian drones used in such strikes were found in Moldova and Romania, prompting the countries to increase their security measures.

MP Yaroslav Zhelezniak: Ukraine’s parliament & economy, Issue No. 44
Editor’s note: This is issue 44 of Ukrainian lawmaker Yaroslav Zhelezniak’s weekly “Ukrainian Economy in Brief” newsletter, covering events from Feb. 19-25, 2024. The digest highlights steps taken in the Ukrainian parliament related to business, economics, and international financial programs. The…
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8:28 PM

FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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