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Russia not re-elected to International Maritime Organization's Council

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 1, 2023 4:12 PM 2 min read
The headquarters of the International Maritime Organization in London, the U.K. (International Maritime Organization/X)
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Russia was not re-elected to the council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations specialized agency responsible for regulating shipping.

President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the organization's decision, thanking IMO members "for taking this crucial step."

"In the last decade, no country has done more to undermine freedom of navigation than Russia," Zelensky said on X.

The IMO's Assembly voted on Dec. 1 to elect 40 new council members for 2024-2025. The IMO's council is the organization's executive organ that performs governing functions between the assembly's sessions.

Russia applied under the category "states with the largest interest in providing international shipping services," where it held a place in the last two years but wasn't re-elected.

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The new council members under this category are China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Norway, Panama, South Korea, the U.K. and the U.S., according to the IMO.

Right after Russia launched its 2022 invasion of Ukraine, it blocked the movement of humanitarian cargo from and into Ukraine's Black Sea ports.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative,  first brokered by Turkey and the UN in July 2022, allowed Ukraine to export its grain even amid the ongoing war.

Moscow unilaterally terminated the deal in July 2023 and subsequently intensified its attacks against Ukraine's ports and agriculture infrastructure.

Ukraine launched a new Black Sea corridor in August and has reportedly managed to export almost four million metric tons of food and goods through the temporary route.

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