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.