Ukraine warns commercial shipping lanes under threat from Russian warships

Ukraine has hit out at Russian naval exercises near its southern coast, claiming navigation in the Black Sea and Azov Sea has become virtually impossible as tensions remain high over a conflict between the two neighbours.

In a statement from the foreign ministry yesterday, Ukraine said Russia’s actions “show blatant disregard for the rules and principles of international law” and that Kiev would work together with partner countries to prepare a response.

“Such aggressive actions by the Russian Federation as part of its hybrid war against Ukraine are unacceptable,” the statement said. “This is a significant and unjustified complication of international shipping, especially trade, which can cause complex economic and social consequences, especially for the ports of Ukraine.”

Russia has sent six warships to Sevastopol in annexed Crimea for naval drills this month.

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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