翻译：国际海事信息网 张海滢 汪涛
Shipping in Crimea partially paralysed
The political crisis in Crimea has partially paralysed shipping in the region, potentially disrupting Ukrainian imports and exports, say Ukrainian authorities.
Particular concern has been expressed over grain supplies to the country. Ukraine is one of the world's largest suppliers of cereals, especially maize and wheat, and the Crimean ports are the main transit points for sending grain by sea.
Any serious problems with shipping may thus negatively affect the global grain market and lead to price rises.
Officials say there are several reasons for the shipping problems. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Russian military had stationed large anti-submarine ships near the port of Novoozernoe, completely blocking the channel. Though the main reason for this was probably to block access for some (or all) of the Ukraine Navy, trade shipping has also been affected.
However, the activity by Russian or Ukraine naval forces are not the key reasons for the shipping problems near the disputed peninsula. According to Andrey Telni, secretary of the port of Sevastopol, the shipping is partly paralysed “mainly because of psychological reasons”.
“There is a possibility of conflict escalation, and some people are afraid of this. Now we have a situation on the peninsula where confrontation between the two or even three fleets – as Crimea has created its own fleet – must be considered,” said Mr Telni.
“The navy is thus in a state of tension and wary of any possible provocations. And as is quite common, nobody really wants to go near the warships in such a situation,” he concluded.