Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Ukraine closes inland waters to Russian ships

by Illia PonomarenkoJanuary 2, 2022 10:59 pm
Ukrainian vessels navigate during naval exercises on Oct. 1, 2021 (Naval Force of Ukraine)

After over seven years of war, Ukraine has banned Russia from using its river navigation routes and ports.

A new bill on the country's inland water transport came into force on Jan. 1 to prohibit cargo or passenger ships under the flag of Russia, which is officially declared as "the aggressor nation" by the Ukrainian legislation.

The ban is also imposed upon vessels belonging to Russian nationals and all individuals and entities added to the Ukrainian government's sanctions list.

Russian vessels from now on cannot be registered in the Ukrainian navigation system, according to the new legislation.

The bill was passed as far back as Dec. 3, 2020.

Before it came into force on Jan. 1, 2022, Russian navigation in Ukrainian inland waters was not legally prohibited.

According to the government, Ukraine currently operates 27 river port facilities, namely on the Dnipro and the Danube rivers.

Meanwhile, according to the Ukrainian navy, Russia as of Dec. 10 closed nearly 70% of the Azov Sea's aquatic area on the pretense of naval maneuvers, which constantly impedes shipment to Ukrainian ports of Mariupol, Berdyansk, and Henichesk.

Illia Ponomarenko
Illia Ponomarenko
Defense reporter

Illia Ponomarenko is the defense and security reporter at the Kyiv Independent. He has reported about the war in eastern Ukraine since the conflict’s earliest days. He covers national security issues, as well as military technologies, production, and defense reforms in Ukraine. Besides, he gets deployed to the war zone of Donbas with Ukrainian combat formations. He has also had deployments to Palestine and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as an embedded reporter with UN peacekeeping forces. Illia won the Alfred Friendly Press Partners fellowship and was selected to work as USA Today's guest reporter at the U.S. Department of Defense.

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