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Russia’s Government To Save Sanctions Hit Ports In Occupied Crimea With Syrian Cargo

Russia’s government to save sanctions hit ports in occupied Crimea with Syrian cargo

Feodosia, Crimea, Ukraine (PortSEurope) January 25, 2022 – Severely hit by the sanctions imposed on Ukraine’s Crimea after its annexation by Russia in 2014, the peninsula’s two smaller Black Sea ports of Feodosia and Kerch will be transferred from the self-proclaimed Republic of Crimea to federal Russian ownership and are targeting cargo to and from sanctions-hit Syria. The head of the Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, said
that the prospect for the ports of Feodosia and Kerch are to be able to load up to 5 million tonnes per year with a further increase of turnover to 14 million tonnes. The main cargo will be to and from Syria. The port of Tartus is ready to receive cargo, and we have signed an agreement with the province of Latakia, where the port can also receive part of the cargo, he added. Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in February-March 2014 and since then it has been administered as two Russian federal regions – the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol. Annexation was accompanied by a military intervention by Russia in Crimea that took place in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and was part of wider unrest across southern and eastern Ukraine. In 2019, the director of the economic development department of Sevastopol, Vladimir Yezhikov, said that Crimea’s largest port, Sevastopol, will start handling cargo to and from sanctions-hit Syria. “We certainly see the potential, we see the interest on the project of cargo transportation to Syria. There is a technical possibility to carry out these transports,” said Yezhikov. Due to the sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and other countries for enterprises operating on the Crimean peninsula and their partners, the cargo handling volume of SevMorPort (Sevastopol Sea Port) dropped from almost 6 million tonnes in 2013 to less than 200,000 tonnes in 2018. There is an instruction from the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow already working on the possibility of increasing cargo traffic through the Crimean seaports. On behalf of the president, a number of benefits will be provided for food products that are exported abroad through the Crimean seaports, Aksyonov said. Permanent Representative of the Crimea under the President of Russia, Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Crimea, Georgy Muradov, said that other Russian regions can supply their products through the Crimea. “Crimea suffers from the fact that some sanctions prevent direct relations with a number of European countries. Here we are gaining an advantage. Other subjects of the Russian Federation that are actively cooperating with the West are afraid to cooperate directly with Syria. So, they go through us (Crimea). We are the southern gates of Russia, and our ports are open for the supply of marketable products to Syria without fear of anything,” Muradov said. Feodosiya Commercial Sea Port is the largest enterprise in the city of Feodosia, located in the western part of the non-freezing Feodosia Bay. It covers 13.44 hectares and is divided into two cargo areas: for dry cargo berths 1, 2, 3, 14,15, which are equipped with gantry cranes, access railway tracks, and a platform for receiving containers. There are covered and open warehouses. Berths 2 and 3 are still in a process of reconstruction. The port has capacity of 2 million tonnes of dry cargo per year. There are also two offshore oil berths for transshipment of crude oil and light oil products and one oil pier: the northern berth with depths of up to 13.5 m can accommodate tankers with a displacement of 80,000 tonnes and a draft of up to 12.5 m; southern berth – up to 80,000 tonnes with a draft of up to 11.3 m. Passenger operations are carried out at berth No. 15. According to the results of the first half of 2021, the total cargo turnover of the port increased by 75.33%, up to 105,200 tonnes, compared to the same period last year. The main driver of growth was the transshipment of petroleum products – the turnover of oil cargo was 62,500 tonnes (in 2020 – 75,000 tonnes). Ilmenite (titanium-iron oxide mineral, the most important ore of titanium), which in 2020 occupied a significant part of transshipment volumes (53,8000 tonnes), was replaced by flour, grain transshipment was preserved. The Kerch Commercial Sea Port is in the Kerch Bay on the western coast of the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black and Azov Seas. The main navigable artery of the Kerch Strait (Kerch-Yenikalsky Canal – KEK) was built at the beginning of the 20th century. The length of the port’s approach channel is 5.1 km, the length of the Kerch-Yenikal Canal is 35.05 km. The port includes a universal transshipment complex and a passenger terminal. It can receive ships with length of 200 m and draft up to 8 m. At the anchorage, it is possible to handle more than 40 vessels simultaneously with a loaded draft of up to 20 m without length restrictions. Tartus is the Russian Navy’s only Mediterranean port facility, sparing Russia’s warships the trip back to their Black Sea bases through the Bosphorus Strait. It is the Russian Navy’s only overseas base. In the Syrian civil war, Russia sided with and saved the regime in Damascus. Copyright (C) PortSEurope. All Rights Reserved. 2022.

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