04 Juni 2014

[040614.EN.SEA] Crimea Seaports Seized by Russian Separatists, Cargo Volumes Plunge

CRIMEA's seaports are being seized by Russian separatist authorities, as well as harbour and pilotage services now under new enterprises called "Crimean Ports" and "Pilot-Crimea".

In March 2014, the port of Evpatoria volumes by 31.4 per cent, Sevastopol by 35.2 per cent, Yalta by 81.9 per cent, Theodosia by 25.6 per cent and Kerch by 72.5 per cent, according to the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority.

It has not been decided yet which Crimean ports will be placed under the authority of the federal authorities of Russia, and which will remain under the authority of Crimea, reports New York's Maritime Advocate.

On March 28, the Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Rosmorrechflot" appointed harbour masters of sea ports in Crimea. On March 31 the Crimean and Sevastopol branches of Rosmorport were established.

Apparently, Russia will take all responsibilities related to the safety of navigation in Sevastopol and other ports of Crimea, the report said.

It is expected that the 15 million tons of cargo handled in the Crimean ports in 2013 now will henceforth be processed in other Ukrainian ports.

Crimean ports may be closed to the rest of the world. On April 15, the Ukrainian parliament adopted the law, which declares the Crimean peninsula as "temporary occupied territory, said the report.

"It is possible to speak in terms of a banning of the ships calling at Crimean ports, from entering the ports of Ukraine. This kind of ban was tested in Cyprus in connection with the occupation of northern Cyprus in 1974," said the Maritime Advocate.

"Despite the progress in resolving that political conflict, until recently the masters of vessels calling at the ports of Northern Cyprus were subject to criminal penalties, including imprisonment.

"It is commonly known that tracing the route of a ship is not particularly difficult today given the use of AIS and other services'" the report said.

Source : HKSG.

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