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Ukraine expects international partners to join in unblocking seaports - ICC Ukraine

Ukraine expects international partners to join in unblocking seaports - ICC Ukraine Photo: Ukraine expects international partners to join in unblocking seaports (Getty Images)

Ukraine's economy requires unblocking ports, so Russia consistently obstructs free navigation in the Black Sea. The international community should classify Russia's actions as piracy and take comprehensive measures to hold the aggressor accountable, reports Volodymyr Shchelkunov, President of the Ukrainian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC Ukraine).

"Russia has no reason to stop, monitor, or obstruct vessel movement. The blocking of Ukrainian ports and the threat to navigation exhibit all the characteristics of maritime piracy. The ICC has been systematically countering these manifestations worldwide for years. However, the world is facing this problem on such a scale for the first time," noted Shchelkunov.

He added that the precondition for the economic development of any country is its ability to trade without prohibitions and restrictions. Because of this, Russia is blocking maritime navigation, which was Ukraine's most effective export route.

"For a country to develop, it needs to export more than it imports. Our main export sectors include grain, metallurgical products, and chemicals, and the railway checkpoints cannot meet the demand of these industries for export. The absence of logistics leads to reduced production, decreased budget revenues, plant shutdowns, and employee layoffs. Unfortunately, the aggressor is well aware of this. Thus, the reason for blocking Ukrainian maritime logistics. However, by lifting the blockade, Ukraine will significantly improve its economic situation," Shchelkunov emphasized.

He stressed that Ukraine's success on the frontline is the main argument for unblocking the ports. At the same time, there are many additional mechanisms that our partners can activate, including ensuring the safety of navigation and creating a pool of companies for war risk insurance.

"Therefore, the second area of government work should involve active efforts on the diplomatic front. And all these areas of work should be engaged fully: the success of the Ukrainian armed forces, security guarantees from partner countries, joint efforts in demining the waters, and insurance support," summarized Shchelkunov.

Earlier, American diplomat Kurt Volker urged NATO countries to provide a military response if Russia attacks commercial vessels in international waters of the Black Sea, as it would be an act of piracy.

The Deputy Prime Minister for Ukraine's Restoration, Oleksandr Kubrakov, stated that Ukraine needs free maritime export and called on the international community to unite in unblocking Ukrainian ports.