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March 14, 2022updated 23 Mar 2022 2:20pm

IMO seeks safe corridor for ships and crew stuck in Ukraine conflict

The safe corridor will help avoid military attacks and protect maritime domains.

Understand the impact of the Ukraine conflict from a cross-sector perspective with the Global Data Executive Briefing: Ukraine Conflict

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO), an agency of the United Nations (UN) responsible for regulating shipping, has called for the creation of a safe maritime corridor to evacuate seafarers and ships from the high-risk areas in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov.

This move will help save the life of seafarers, as well as facilitate the mobilisation and commercial navigation of vessels, by avoiding military attacks and protecting the maritime domain.

IMO will work with relevant parties and implement required measures to create the safe corridor.

The agency drafted several measures to protect seafarers and their families, including the sailing of ships from Ukrainian ports to avoid the threat of attack, and the establishment of humanitarian corridors to ensure seafarers’ safety by leaving the conflict zone and returning home.

Other steps to protect seafarers include providing free access to seafarers to communicate with their families, as well as offering access to their wages by the member states.

The measures also include the exemption of seafarers from mandatory military service.

IMO stated that it condemned the Russian Federation’s declaration of a “special military operation” in Ukraine, and demanded to immediately withdraw its force against Ukraine.

Violation of territorial integrity and the sovereignty of UN’s member state by spreading its territorial waters was also condemned by the agency.

The agency grieved on Russian attacks targeting commercial vessels and their seizures, including search-and-rescue vessels.

IMO urged Russia to stop unacceptable activities to protect seafarers and the marine environment, and secure international shipping in all affected areas.

Earlier this month, the UK passed a law to ban Russian ships from its ports.

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