28 ships flying the flags of different EU countries have arrived in ports of Crimea for two years after Russia’s annexation of the peninsula.
This is stated in a journalist investigation of the international OCCRP network (a project on corruption and organized crime investigations).
Moreover, the journalists found that other 43 ships registered in the EU and 22 owned by beneficiaries of the European Union had come to Crimea.
Total number of ships visited Crimean ports during this time is over 600 ships, including different types of marine transportation such as yachts and tugs, including those ones which were captured after the annexation of Crimea.
The investigation shows specific examples of foreign vessels entering the ports of Crimea despite sanctions and Ukrainian legislation. One such a case took place with The General vessel in December 2015.
According to AIS, the vessel was steering from the Turkish port of Nemrut to the Ukrainian port of Kherson, but the radar signal of the ship disappeared when approaching Crimea. Sevastopol residents discovered The General loading of scrap metal in the depths of the Sevastopol Bay near the town of Inkerman.
As a reminder, Ukraine formally closed the Crimean ports for international shipping on July 16, 2014. Later, the EU and the United States imposed sanctions, which prohibit commercial and passenger ships visiting ports of the peninsula. Also Ukraine introduced criminal liability for violation of order to entry and to exit the peninsula.