Free navigation of sea vessels through the Kerch Strait would increase the transshipment volumes in the Ukrainian ports on the Azov Sea by almost 800 thsd tonnes per year, declared the State Enterprise Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority (USPA) on December 4.
For five recent years, due to military operations in the Donbas, construction of the bridge across the Kerch Strait, and the current unreasonable delays of vessels, the seaports of Mariupol and Berdyansk almost halved their transshipment volumes — to 8.9 mln tonnes. First of all, the ports export Ukrainian products to the following countries: Italy, the USA, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, France, Syria, said the Head at the USPA, Raivis Veckagans.
According to him, previously the ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk already faced the situation when the passage for shipping through the Kerch Strait was closed for several days — during erection of the Kerch bridge arches. At the same time, the current delay was much longer-term. In fact, the vessels which moved to the Azov Sea ports of Ukraine failed to pass from the Black Sea to the Azov Sea in the period from November 22 to early December.