"Mariupol [Sea] Port was forced to switch to a four-day workweek. We observe ongoing blocking and aggressive inspections of Ukrainian, foreign vessels in the Sea of Azov, the Kerch Strait, to the point where the ship-owners incur losses due to idle time of vessels. This is about $15,000-50,000 a day. The average delay time is more than 30 hours which takes its toll not on Ukraine alone but also on European taxpayers since the goods from these ports go to the European markets," the minister said.
On Oct. 25, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the EU member states to be prepared to stiffen sanctions against the Russian Federation if the situation in the Sea of Azov escalates. The resolution expresses EP’s concern that "Russia frequently and in an abusive manner blocks and inspects ships going through the Kerch Strait sailing to or from Ukrainian ports while these procedures cause delays of up to one week and result in a decrease in cargo flows and tangible financial losses for the local economy in Ukraine and merchants whose vessels are subject to this regime."
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko welcomed the European Parliament’s resolution: "The European Union, together with Ukraine, will resist the creeping annexation of the Sea of Azov by Russia and violation of the freedom of navigation."