Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan says two seaports in the Ukrainian cities of Mariupol and Berdyansk (the Sea of Azov) are forced to cut their working hours after Russia blocked the passage of vessels through the Kerch Strait connecting the Black and Azov seas.
“As we expected, Moscow is now manually handling the access of merchant ships to the Ukrainian seaports in the Sea of Azov,” Omelyan wrote on Facebook.
“I’m not even talking about freedom of navigation and free passage through the Kerch Strait,” he wrote.
According to the minister, the two Ukrainian ports have lost more than half of their cargo traffic and are forced to switch to a four-day working week and start layoffs.
Omelyan says that 29 vessels are awaiting the green light to pass through the Kerch-Yenikale canal, while another 11 ships are moored to the berths in the ports.
“We’re working with our allies in the anti-Russian coalition to return the occupied territories, release captured sailors and ships, restore international law, and put an end to the economic blockade of Ukraine’s Azov Sea area,” the minister said. (UNIAN/Business World Magazine)