Thirty leading maritime organisations and companies have sent an open letter to the United Nations (UN) Secretary General asking to prioritise the immediate release of the seafarers and ships that remain trapped in Ukrainian ports. It concerns 331 seafarers and 62 ships.

The letter is sent just ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, on 24 February, 2023. The seafarers are still trapped on vessels in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov. The letter applauds the UN efforts to secure the Black Sea Grain Initiative, but now asks the organisation to use its diplomatic influence to also help the seafarers and ships that remain stuck to this day.

Also read: How the Port of Rotterdam is impacted by the Russia-Ukraine conflict

The open letter, which calls the situation an ‘unacceptable risk to life’, has been signed by organisations and companies including the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), Intercargo, Intertanko, NYK Line, K Line, MOL, Union of Greek Shipowners, Danish Shipping, and seafarer charities.

Read the full letter on the ICS website.

Also read: NMT concerned about consequences of war in Ukraine for Dutch maritime industry