Mariupol seaport losses deepen from Crimean Bridge, minister says

15 March 2019

The Mariupol seaport has lost 33% of its fleet and 140K tons in metal exports owing to the construction of the Crimean Bridge and its height restrictions, said on March 14 Vadym Chernysh, the minister of temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons. Those ships with heights higher than 33 meters haven’t been able to pass under the bridge, he said, adding that the port’s volume has been reduced to nearly a third since the Russian aggression began in 2014. Recall, Russia opened the Crimean Bridge to traffic in May 2018.

 

To improve the activity of Ukraine’s Azov Sea ports In Mariupol and Berdiansk, the government is considering investing domestic financing resources, as well as tapping EU funds, Chernysh said. A key decision has already been reaching on financing infrastructure projects to support the port’s work, including rail, auto and sea transit. The construction of the Mariupol port’s grain terminal is scheduled to conclude this year, he also noted.

 

Zenon Zawada: For the reason of lost economic activity owing to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the residents of southeastern Ukraine are supporting the candidacies of Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Yulia Tymoshenko over President Poroshenko’s re-election. This is the intended result by the Russian leadership, which understands that southeastern residents consistently favor tight economic ties with Russia when deciding whom to vote for.

 

Had Poroshenko handled addressed the lost economic activity (by leading efforts invest in major infrastructure projects, improve rule of law, punish corruption), he could have won over many southeastern residents. But instead he has overlooked these critical issues and has pursued an elections strategy focused on divisive cultural issues, which has only alienated southeastern Ukrainians even further.

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