Russia closes three areas of the Black Sea
Russia suspends the right of free passage for foreign ships in three areas of the Black Sea for six months. The restrictions will take effect on the evening of Thursday, April 24, reported the Russian newspaper Kommersant with a reference to the bulletin issued by the Office of Navigation and Oceanography of the Russian Defense Ministry.
From 21:00 on 24 April to 21:00 on October 31, Russia suspends the right of free passage through the waters of the Russian Federation "for foreign warships and other ships." At this time, the Russian navy will allegedly conduct exercises.
During this period, the area along the coast of Crimea between Sevastopol and Gurzuf, a section off the coast of the Kerch Peninsula in the area of Cape Opuk and a section near the western edge of Crimea will be closed.
The Office of Navigation and Oceanography reported that these areas are withing the "outer boundary of the territorial waters of the Russian Federation." At the same time, the Kerch Strait and the approach to it do not fall into the exclusion zones.
Earlier, Russia blocked the Kerch Strait for Ukrainian ships and third countries ships, including ships of the Navy and maritime protection of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry protested about the closure. Russia's actions were condemned by the United States, the EU and NATO.
This week, Russia also restricted flights over parts of Crimea and the Black Sea from April 20 to 24.