Disclaimer: From Tass News Agency
Russia is creating a humanitarian corridor 20 miles to the southeast of the Ilyichevsk Port for the exit of 67 foreign ships from Ukrainian ports, Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, head of Russia’s National Defense Management Center, said on Thursday.
“The Russian Federation is creating a humanitarian corridor for the exit of foreign ships from Ukrainian ports into the open sea, which is a safe lane for the movement of ships from the assembly area located 20 miles to the southeast of the Ilyichevsk Port,” Mizintsev said.
He reiterated that 67 foreign vessels from 15 countries remained trapped in Ukrainian ports. According to him, the humanitarian corridor is 80 nautical miles long toward the southwest, and three miles wide. The corridor will be opened daily between 08:00 Moscow time and 19:00 Moscow time, starting from March 25.
Mizintsev said the danger of mines created by the Kiev government along with the threat of shelling by the Ukrainian armed forces are preventing 67 foreign ships from 15 countries to safely leave the ports of Nikolayev, Chernomorsk, Ochakov, Odessa and Yuzhny.
“The high danger of mines created by the official Kiev in the internal waters of Ukraine and the territorial sea (minefields were put in place with gross violations of the preparation regulations and without putting them on maps), as well as the threat of shelling by the armed forces of Ukraine of ships that follow the recommended routes, don’t allow them to safely leave the ports of Nikolayev, Chernomorsk, Ochakov, Odessa, Yuzhny and go to the open sea,” he said.
Mizintsev said that 67 foreign ships from 15 countries continue to be blocked in Ukrainian ports. He said Russia isn’t creating any risks to the freedom of civil navigation.
Mizintsev called on the entire international community, including the International Maritime Organization, to put pressure on Ukraine and take effective measures aimed at releasing the foreign ships and ensuring their safe passage from Ukrainian ports.
Ilyichevsk Port Authority photo