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Russia not re-elected to International Maritime Organization’s Council

“In the last decade, no country has done more to undermine freedom of navigation than Russia,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, commenting on the decision of IMO members.
Credit: IMO

Russia was not re-elected to the council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a UN agency overseeing global shipping, IMO announced on 1 December.

Russia was among 11 countries vying for Category A council seats reserved for nations with the biggest stake in international shipping, but it was the only candidate not to secure enough votes.

The IMO Assembly elected China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Norway, Panama, South Korea, the UK, and the US to serve on the Council in 2024-2025.

“I welcome this just decision. In the last decade, no country has done more to undermine freedom of navigation than Russia,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

Russia maintains a de-facto blockade of Ukrainian seaports from the beginning of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Last summer, the UN and Türkiye brokered a “grain deal” with Russia to enable Ukrainian agricultural exports by sea. Russia, however, exited the deal this summer, jeopardizing the exports.

In response, Ukraine announced temporary routes for merchant vessels on 10 August 2023. The primary intent was to ensure civilian vessels could continue their operations amidst Russia’s increased maritime aggression, thereby demonstrating Ukraine’s commitment to safeguarding its maritime trade.

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