Shortage of Ukrainian and Russian sailors to aggravate supply chain problems

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made it more difficult for Ukrainian and Russian sailors to access and return ships, as flights to the region have been canceled and pressures increase on ships to avoid Russia and Ukraine.

Ukrainian and Russian seafarers make up 14.5% of the global shipping workforce, ICS said, with 198,123 Russian seafarers and 76,442 Ukrainians.

Ahead of the war in Ukraine, the ICS warned that steps should be taken to ensure the world has sufficient numbers of sailors in the future. The profession has also suffered from travel restrictions and regulations related to COVID-19.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is due to hold a special meeting where industry will present an eight-point plan to ensure the welfare of seafarers, the ICS said, including calls for states to ensure seafarers’ access to their wages and the provision of safe corridors. for ships to leave Ukrainian ports.

ICS General Secretary Guy Platten said: “The conflict in Ukraine is having a significant impact on the safety and security of seafarers and shipping in the region. As with COVID, seafarers are exposed to problems that are not of their making. Several ships have been hit by ordnance, sailors have been killed and injured, and sailors of all nationalities are trapped on ships moored in ports. It is of the utmost urgency that their evacuation from these threat zones be ensured by the States which have the power to do so. The impact on innocent seafarers and their families cannot be underestimated.

“ICS fully supports the establishment of a maritime corridor to allow the safe evacuation of vessels that are currently unable to leave the territorial waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov. They must be allowed to leave the conflict zone and avoid further humanitarian incidents.

ICS further warned of specific impacts on global trade in wheat and crude oil products.

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