Commercial Operators Advised to Avoid Ukraine EEZ

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Dryad Global has advised that all commercial operators avoid any transit or operations within the Ukrainian EEZ and the EEZ of Russian Crimea in its latest Triton Scout Maritime Security Threat Assessment (MSTA), which was updated on March 21.

“Russian Navy landing ships have been approaching the Ukrainian Coast near Odessa. An attempt to capture Odessa has strategic and symbolic significance for Ukraine particularly due to the importance to the Ukrainian economy,” Dryad Global noted in the MSTA.

“The Black Sea ports of the Russian Federation are functioning normally at MARSEC level 2. Commercial operations within the EEZ of Turkey, Bulgaria, Georgia, and Romania remain unaffected at this time,” the MSTA stated.

In its previous MSTA, Dryad Global outlined that there was a potential for Russia to use the ambit of procedural/approval issues as a pretext for the effective detention or seizure of vessels at Russian ports. In its February 28 MSTA, Dryad stated that, since the outbreak of hostilities, a number of vessels had been struck by missiles within waters south of the Ukrainian port of Odessa.

Earlier this month, the International Maritime Organization held an extraordinary council session to discuss the impacts of the situation in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov on shipping and seafarers. In the meeting, the council “deplored the attacks of the Russian Federation aimed at commercial vessels, their seizures, including Search-and-Rescue vessels, threatening the safety and welfare of seafarers and the marine environment”.

The council also demanded that the Russian Federation “cease its unlawful activities to ensure the safety and welfare of seafarers and the security of international shipping and the marine environment in all affected areas”.

Gulf of Guinea, Libya

In addition to its warnings regarding Ukraine, Dryad Global’s latest MSTA noted that, within the Gulf of Guinea, the Nigerian Navy has raised alarm on the potential conflict over the planned expansion of the mandate of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to include the security of maritime.

“The Nigerian Navy has stated that NIMASA should limit its mandate to safety and administration on waterways and not involve itself in matters of maritime security. Furthermore, Eni declared force majeure on the expected oil production at Brass Terminal after an attack on an oil line,” the MSTA stated.

Looking at Libya, the MSTA said the United Nations has warned that the country could again see two rival administrations and a return to instability.

“Whilst the UN is calling for elections as soon as possible to ease the division, Parliament-appointed Prime Minister Bashagha has stated that elections cannot be held when there’s division and conflict,” the MSTA stated.

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