Mikhail Mishustin, Russia’s Prime Minister, reportedly said on Wednesday that the government is planning to retaliate against those nations that ban their vessels from entering their ports. Mishustin said this during a governmental meeting, wherein he also revealed steps Russia is undertaking to safeguard its domestic economy against international sanctions, per a report from Reuters.
He added that the government is also “closely monitoring” prices of food, especially bread. On Tuesday, Putin signed an order that banned the export of certain raw materials and goods.
PM Mishustin did not, however, specify how the government would be retaliating. But Putin mentioned in the recent past that the West’s unending support toward Ukraine by providing supplies to the country and introducing sanctions is akin to declaring war.
Mishustin’s statement comes as approximately 60,000 sailors from both Ukraine and Russia continue being stranded at ports. As Russia’s vessels, ships are no longer permitted into a majority of Western ports, the crew members are in limbo — unable to collect or deliver cargo. Many were incapable of securing travel back home or collecting their salaries owing to the sanctions.
More than 10% of the world’s shipping workforce comes from Russia — a factor that may result in extended labor shortages and supply chain delays if Russia’s sailors are forced to head home.
The UK banned Russia’s vessels from entering ports last week. The US and EU are also contemplating such a ban. Biden declared a ban on Russia’s oil imports on Tuesday.
Shipping companies have taken similar measures. The three largest shipping firms of the world announced that they would no longer be calling on Russia’s ports. The announcements took place last week.
If sanctions on Russia’s vessels keep continuing, the country could easily find itself cut off from trade with a majority of the world outside Asian shipping majors.