Due to the international sanctions the maritime traffic between the Russian Federation and the annexed Crimea is operated by the Russian vessels, which must be sold for scrap. This was reported by Director of the Crimean Department of the Maidan of Foreign Affairs Fund Andriy Klimenko at a press conference.
“The sanctions have resulted in double expansion of Russian vessels in Crimea. So Russia has experienced a severe shortage of sea-river vessels, especially bulk-carriers, in 2016. It means that nowadays the very old Russian vessels, which had to be sold for scrap long time ago, still call at Crimea,” said Klimenko.
He noted that goods delivery is only possible by sea to the peninsula after the Ukrainian Government blocked the road transportation with Crimea.
In addition, the number of foreign vessels, visiting ports of Crimea, has dramatically decreased since the international sanctions of 2014. “As a result of the sanctions, the number of foreign vessels, except the Russian ones, has significantly decreased from 80 in 2014 to 37 in 2016. The sanctions have created the situation when Russia has to increase the number of own vessels due to the lack of the foreign ones,” said the expert.
According to Klimenko, in 2016 Crimean ports were called at by 89 Russian vessels representing 70% of all vessels-trespassers. He also noted that vessels from other 14 States including Bulgaria, Moldova, Panama, Belize, Togo, etc. had called at the occupied Crimea in 2016.
He also said that the reduction of visits had resulted in significant reduction of the freight traffic in Crimea. “The sanctions have led to actual degradation of the Yevpatoria, Yalta and Feodosia ports. Actually, the Kerch port LNG terminal went into liquidation a month ago,” said Klimenko.
As a reminder, Ukraine lost five seaports in Kerch, Sevastopol, Feodosia, Yalta and Yevpatoria due to the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014.