Russia blocks the Sea of Azov
Russia took complete control over the Sea of Azov. During the past week, Russia did not allow any ships to pass through the Kerch Strait to reach the Ukraine ports. The ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk are almost empty, writes the expert of the Maidan of Foreign Affairs non-profit organization and reporter of BlakcSeaNews, Andrei Klimenko on his Facebook page.
"Between 07:00 (local Moscow time) on August 14, 2018, and 9:00 (local Moscow time) on August 21, 2018, the Russian Federation has not allowed a single vessel from the Black Sea to the reach Ukrainian ports of the Azov Sea. Therefore, there are no resonant detentions in the middle of the sea, "he said.
According to Klimenko, there are 16 vessels with a total carrying capacity of 120 thousand tons anchored in the Kerch Strait. At the same time, three ships are waiting for the permission to pass for almost a week (for 6 days, 5 days and 4 days).
In his comments to the post, Klimenko noted that it is already obvious that Ukraine "lost the Sea of Azov along with the Crimea". According to the retired Admiral of the Navy and representative of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry of the Mission of Ukraine to NATO, Ihor Kabanenko, this situation was obvious long time ago, but too little has been done to prevent it.
Russia detained more than 150 foreign vessels in the area of the Kerch Strait that were headed to the Ukrainian ports on the Azov Sea, said the head of the State Border Service of Ukraine Oleg Slobodyan, reports 112 Ukraine.
"I do not have exact data, but it seems to be more than 150 foreign vessels that were going to Ukrainian ports ... Russian border guards continue to inspect vessels that go to the Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea," he said.
According to Slobodyan, the ships that sail to the Ukrainian ports on the Azov Sea have to wait for permission to pass the Kerch Strait for several days, and the ships that go to Russian ports pass it "almost without a delay."
In this case, inspections of those ships that go to Ukrainian ports are mainly carried out in areas inaccessible to the Ukrainian border guards.
Note that earlier, public activist Dmitry Snegirev said that Russia’s main task in the Sea of Azov is the economic blockade of the Azov coast and the transformation of the Azov Sea exclusively into the inland sea of the Russian Federation.