Dry CargoEurope

Russia bans foreign ships from crossing the Kerch Strait

Russian authorities have banned vessels loaded outside of Russia and Russian-occupied territories from crossing the Kerch Strait from the Black Sea into the Azov Sea.

The ban of foreign vessels comes a month after the bombing of the Kerch Strait bridge, which links Russia to Crimea.

“According to the official notification we have received from the Maritime Administration of the Russian Federation, the passage of ships, loaded outside the Russian Federation, to the north through the Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov is prohibited,” a report from Türkiye’s Directorate General of Maritime Affairs stated.

The new ban brings into question how willing Russia will be to renew a United Nations grain shipping initiative. The deal to allow Ukraine grain exports from three Black Sea ports was signed in August and is due for renewal later this week.

Looking at Ukrainian shipments, Ulf Bergman, senior economist at Shipfix, a chartering platform, told Splash today that the forward-looking cargo order volumes for agricultural commodities showed some signs of a recovery last week with an increasing number of larger vessels being marketed for the trade.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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