Business calls for the creation of a special restricted area and a humanitarian corridor for ships in Ukraine
The russian federation continues to grossly violate international law by using sea and airspace to shell Ukrainian territory and third-country merchant ships. As a result, the aggressor state endangers the international air and sea navigation of Ukraine and other Black Sea states, the operation of submarine cables and pipelines.
To counter this unprecedented aggression, the European Business Association urges for initiation of an appeal to the UN on the possibility of creating a Special Restricted Area (not covered by Ukrainian or russian sovereignty), which will temporarily ban the use of airspace and suspend navigation by sea (except for humanitarian corridors) until the complete cessation of russian aggression.
To create such an area, the UN Security Council could provide for the involvement of air, sea, or land forces of UN member states. The EBA addressed a corresponding request in an official letter to the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
Another urgent issue for Ukraine and the world community is the resumption of shipping through Ukraine’s seaports – to unlock exports and gradually restore the country’s economy. After all, the impossibility to export Ukrainian products, including agricultural products, could lead to a global food crisis. Thus, humanitarian corridors are needed to export products that have been blocked in Ukrainian ports since February 24.
At present, according to the EBA member companies, about 85 foreign vessels need to leave the Ukrainian ports of the Black and Azov Seas. Unfortunately, the decision of the Ukrainian authorities alone is not enough. Business believes that the active participation of the United Nations, the Black Sea Basin, and, if necessary, other countries of the world can help to solve this problem in order to create humanitarian corridors and help clear anti-ship mines in the Black Sea.
Otherwise, in the northwestern region of the Black Sea and in the Sea of Azov there has been long a high risk of shipping. Thus, flooding of vessels near berths or in seaports as a result of hostilities will prevent the safe passage of sea waterways to Ukrainian ports, complicate rounds and hinder the use of berths, and may cause significant damage to the environment.
This situation may hinder the rapid resumption of Ukraine’s merchant shipping and will require significant time and financial resources to address it.
Therefore, business is very much hoping for the attention of the international community to this problem now, because every week of procrastination will cause damage that is more serious!