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Ukrainian rivers can be closed for Russian vessels

Photo: ubr.ua

Ukraine may impose a ban on Russian vessels entering its inland waterways. Such a request was submitted to the National Security and Defense Council by Deputy Infrastructure Minister Yuri Lavrenyuk.

According to the minister, who is cited by the ministry’s press office, the fact of Russian vessels being present on Ukrainian rivers is inadmissible. In order to prevent from this, the ministry has already sent some materials to the foreign ministry. In the near future, Ukrainian law enforcers are expected to start revealing unsanctioned entrances of vessels to closed ports of Crimea and take their crews to responsibility.

As it is known, the sea ports in Crimea (Yevpatoria, Kerch, Sevastopol, Feodosia, Yalta) were “closed” by a decree of the Ukrainian government on April 30, 2014. According to information of the Ukrainian Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories, in February 2018, “20 vessels under the Russian flag illegally entered the ports of the annexed Crimea.”

On March 25, the Ukrainian State Border Service detained Russian Nord vessel. It was escorted to Berdyansk, the crew was prohibited to disembark. A court in Kherson ruled to take the captain into custody till May 31 saying he could be released on bail.

The crew tried to leave the territory of Ukraine several times. Two sailors managed to leave thorugh Belarus.

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