Ukraine begins registering ships wishing to cross the Black Sea corridor
Ukraine, which seeks to open safe shipping routes in the Black Sea, has begun registering ships wishing to use the passage it announced last week, a local news agency said on Saturday.
On Thursday, Ukraine declared a “humanitarian corridor” in the Black Sea, allowing the passage of cargo ships trapped in its ports since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of the country on February 24, 2022.
The corridor is a new test of Russia’s de facto blockade after it withdrew last month from the agreement that allowed Kiev to export grain.
“The registration is now open and the coordinator is already working,” Ukrainian Navy spokesman Dmytro Pletynchuk was quoted as saying by the Ukrainian “Interfax” agency, without giving further details.
An industry source told on Friday that no ships had yet passed through the passage.
“Of course, everything will happen under the supervision of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. We are doing our best to ensure security,” Pletynchuk said.
Russia has not made clear whether it will respect the shipping lane, while sources in the shipping and insurance sectors have expressed concerns about safety.
The humanitarian corridor will be available, at least initially, to ships such as container ships stuck in Ukrainian ports since the start of the invasion that were not covered by the deal that opened the ports to grain shipments last year.