Kiev refuses to cooperate with Russian humanitarian corridors: Moscow
Russia accuses Ukraine of refusing to interact with representatives of foreign states and shipowner companies to ensure the safe exit of ships blocked in the Black and Azov seas.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova pointed out on Saturday that the Western statements about Russia blocking foreign ships in the Black and Azov seas are unfounded, as Moscow opens humanitarian corridors every day, but the Ukrainian authorities refuse to cooperate.
Zakharova indicated that "the port in Mariupol has resumed work after the military of Russia and the DPR gained control over it, so the navigating channel was unblocked, and the conditions were created for the ships to leave."
According to the Russian Spokesperson, the Russian Armed Forces open two maritime humanitarian corridors daily from 8 am to 7 pm Moscow time, but the Ukrainian authorities "refuse to interact with representatives of foreign states and shipowner companies to ensure the safe exit of the blocked ships, practically holding the crews hostage."
On Thursday, the head of the Russian National Defense Control Center, Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, indicated that foreign shipowners had ignored opportunities provided by Russia to safely withdraw their vessels from the port of Mariupol.
Mizintsev also called on the diplomatic missions of Bulgaria, the Dominican Republic, Liberia, Panama, Turkey, Jamaica, and the International Maritime Organization to influence the shipowners.
The Colonel-General confirmed that the danger of mines in the waters of the Mariupol port has been eliminated and the harbor can be safely used by civilian ships.
He added that a 139-nautical miles long and three-miles wide naval humanitarian corridor from other Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea will be open daily starting May 27, with the Ukrainian side being responsible for ensuring the safety of ships leaving the ports.
On Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the minesweepers finished clearing the Mariupol port of mines and freed the routes from sunken ships and other navigational hazards, as works to recover port infrastructure are currently underway.
It is noteworthy that on Wednesday, Zakharova announced that five foreign vessels were able to leave after the demining process.