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SIMFEROPOL, May 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian port authorities have warned the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that they cannot guarantee navigation safety in waters around Crimean ports.
This could not ensure "a proper level of safe navigation and compliance with international commitments stemming from the necessity to preserve human life on the sea [and] search and rescue in the ports of Yevpatoria, Kerch, Sevastopol, Feodosia and Yalta," Ukraine's port chiefs told the IMO.In other developments, Crimean Transport Minister Yuri Shevchenko said his priority was to overhaul port capacities to reflect the needs of the peninsula. Plans to develop them as export facilities would be premature, he said.
Even accounting for prospects of developing the port at Kerch, "cargo flow from the peninsula to mainland Russia will be limited," the minister added.
Cargo turnover at Crimean seaports fell by 23.6% year-on-year to 12 million tonnes in 2013. Shipments have practically stopped as cargo transit with Ukraine is close to a standstill.
"If the political situation changes soon and relations with Ukraine improve, then port development projects could be launched," Shevchenko told ITAR-TASS.