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Ukraine closes inland waters to Russian ships

by Illia Ponomarenko January 2, 2022 10:59 PM 1 min read
Ukrainian vessels navigate during naval exercises on Oct. 1, 2021 (Naval Force of Ukraine)
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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.

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