International Maritime Organization calls on Russia to unblock Ukrainian ports
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has called on Russia to comply with international conventions and stop threats to merchant shipping in the Black Sea. This was reported by the press service of the Ministry of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development.
"The 129th session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council, which met in London, welcomed Ukraine's efforts to ensure freedom and safety of navigation in the northwestern Black Sea and prevent a global food crisis. The IMO Council expressed its deep disappointment with the suspension of the Grain Initiative and the Initiative and reiterated its demands that Russia immediately cease its military aggression and threats to merchant shipping," the statement said.
The IMO Council also warned the aggressor state against any actions that threaten global food security, as well as the supply of food, medicines and essential goods to Ukraine.
"Food for millions of people should not be a weapon in the hands of the aggressor state against the whole world. Neither the world nor Ukraine should and will depend on Russia's desire to participate or not to participate in the Grain Initiative. Together with our partners, we are looking for solutions to continue agricultural exports and restore free trade shipping. The Council of the International Maritime Organisation recognises Ukraine's right to free trade navigation. A right guaranteed to us by the international law of the sea. The IMO has called on Russia to also fulfil its obligations under maritime conventions," commented Oleksandr Kubrakov, Minister of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development.
Earlier, the NBU said that the suspension of the Grain Initiative and, as a result, the complete blocking of sea routes would have negative consequences for Ukrainian exports and could increase pressure on the hryvnia exchange rate.
For its part, the Ukrainian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce ICC Ukraine said that unblocking seaports and expanding the range of exports would provide Ukraine with at least $20 billion a year and a significant increase in GDP. In addition, it will help Ukrainian industries restore and increase production, as well as reduce pressure on the hryvnia exchange rate and inflation.