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Ukraine refuses to ensure safe exit of foreign ships from ports – Russian Defense Ministry

At the International Maritime Organization, Ukraine’s representatives are refusing to discuss issues of ensuring safe passage of ships and are demonstratively evading dialogue, Mizintsev said

Ukraine’s authorities shun cooperation with representatives of the countries and the ship-owning companies to find a solution to the safe passage of foreign ships from Ukrainian ports, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, chief of Russia’s National Defense Management Center, said on Wednesday.

“The Kiev authorities are still shunning cooperation with the representatives of the states and ship-owning companies in resolving the issue of the safe exit of foreign vessels to the meeting area. At the International Maritime Organization, Ukraine’s representatives are refusing to discuss issues of ensuring safe passage of ships and are demonstratively evading dialogue,” said Mizintsev, who heads the Russian Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine.

According to Mizintsev, 76 foreign ships from 18 countries are still stranded in Ukrainian ports.

“The threat of shelling and a high threat of mines caused by Kiev in its internal and territorial waters bar the vessels from sailing unhindered to the open sea,” Mizintsev said.

The colonel-general said that Russia goes to great lengths to ensure civil navigation in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Mediterranean. The Russian Armed Forces open a humanitarian sea route daily from 08:00 to 19:00 Moscow time. The route is a safe lane in the southwestern direction from Ukraine’s territorial waters, which is 80 nautical miles long and three nautical miles wide. Messages in English and Russian are broadcast daily every 15 minutes on VHF radio on 14 and 16 international channels to convey detailed information on the modus operandi of the maritime humanitarian corridor.

In addition, Mizintsev again warned the international community about mine hazards in the Black Sea due to drifting Ukrainian mines. He once again called on international organizations as well as on ship owners to exert pressure on official Kiev to force it to take urgent measures to unblock foreign ships and ensure their safe departure from Ukrainian ports.

Source: TASS