The monitoring of the situation in the Azov Sea - update December 2019

The Monitoring group of the Institute for Black Sea Strategic Studies and BlackSeaNews

The Monitoring group of the Institute for Black Sea Strategic Studies, the Maidan of Foreign Affairs and BlackSeaNews are glad to share with you the latest in a series of our monthly studies on Russia's economic war against Ukraine at the Sea of Azov.

1. In December 2019, the average duration of artificial delays of vessels en route from the Black Sea to Ukrainian ports on the Sea of Azov (Mariupol and Berdiansk) by the RF was 31.5 hours (in November - 40.9 hours, the yearly average for 2019 - 29.9 hours) - see chart 1.

2. In December 2019, vessels carrying exports from Mariupol and Berdiansk were delayed at the exit from the Sea of Azov by the RF for an average of 36.7 hours (in November - 39.6 hours, the yearly average for 2019 - 37.4 hours) - see chart 2.

We foresee that in 2020 the restriction of the freedom of navigation through the occupied Kerch Strait to/from the Ukrainian ports on the Sea of Azov (Berdiansk and Mariupol) by the RF will continue.
At least, today we can’t see any reason why the RF would stop taking advantage of “the key to the Kerch Strait”, which it has been holding since the seizure of the Crimean peninsula.

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This publication has been produced with the support of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). Its contents do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of EED. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in this publication lies entirely with the authors. 

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