MOSCOW, April 10. /TASS/. An anchor mine placed by Ukrainian troops near the Turkish Azov Concord ship moored at the port of Mariupol is evidence of mine hazards for foreign ships blocked at Ukrainian ports, Mikhail Mizintsev, chief of Russia’s National Defense Management Center, said on Sunday.
"Another evidence proving the mine hazards is an YaM-1 anchor mine placed by Ukraine’s naval forces near berth No17 of the port of Mariupol where foreign ships are moored. The mine was spotted on April 10 some 50 meters of the Turkish ship Azov Concord," he said.
According to Mizintsev, 77 foreign ships from 18 countries continue to be blocked at Ukrainian ports. The ships cannot take to the sea because of threats of shelling and high mine alerts in Ukraine’s inland and territorial waters.
"Meanwhile, Kiev authorities continue to evade contacts with representatives from the countries and ship owning companies to ensure safe passage of foreign ships. Ukraine’s representatives to the International Maritime Organization refuse to discuss these issues and are demonstratively evading dialogue," he said.
He stressed that Russia is doing its best to ensure civil navigation in the Black, Azov and Mediterranean Seas. Russia’s military open a 80 nautical miles long and three miles wide maritime humanitarian corridor from 08:00am to 19:00 every day southwest from Ukraine’s territorial sea.
He once again called on ship owners to exert pressure on official Kiev to force it to take urgent measures to deblock foreign ships and ensure their safe passage from Ukrainian ports.