Ukraine and Georgia accuse Russia of obstructing navigation and rescue operations in the Black and Azov Seas

Ukraine and Georgia have complained to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regarding “unlawful Russian activity”, which is reportedly interfering with search and rescue operations in the Black and Azov seas.

According to the Ukrainian embassy in the UK, the complaint has been supported by delegations from EU countries and the US.

Kyiv has also sent an objection to the IMO, accusing Russia of “unlawfully extending the Novorossiysk region’s NAVTEX radio station service to the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait”. A representative of the Ukrainian embassy in London claimed that navigation safety information is supposed to be broadcast exclusively by the Ukrainian radio station in Berdyansk.

“We have called on the IMO to consider Russia’s unlawful and unilateral actions, which threaten the safety of navigation,” the embassy said.

This is neither the first nor the last complaint from Ukraine in international organizations regarding the Sea of Azov, the Kerch Strait, and the Black Sea. Kyiv claims that Moscow has been making it particularly difficult for ships to pass through the Kerch Strait to Ukrainian ports. In November, Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania and Sweden called on Russia to “keep its international commitments” and provide free and unobstructed passage to the Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov.

Moscow has dismissed all of Kyiv’s claims as unfounded, and claims to be fully complying with its international obligations.

  Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, Black Sea

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