The largest shipping management company in the world has requested NATO to offer naval escorts for shipping in the Black Sea due to rising concerns that vessels may be at high risk due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
The Financial Times reported that V. Group CEO, René Kofod-Olsen, informed that NATO intervention has been merited because of the region’s importance for food shipment. The invasion of Ukraine, according to them, has made the Black Sea’s northernmost third unsafe for shipping.
Per NATO, floating mines were discovered and also deactivated, especially in the Western Black Sea by countries that currently border it. The organization also added that the threat of hits on civilian ships and collateral damage in a part of the Black Sea is high.
V.Group did not, however, respond to Business Insider’s request for comments. NATO did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Hundreds of seafarers are on vessels, stranded owing to conflict, and are falling short of supplies, including fuel and food, the International Maritime Organization reported earlier.
Stranded vessels with their crew members have raised the challenges of importing and exporting goods via sea from the region after the invasion of Russia. Exports of commodities like corn and wheat, of which Ukraine is a big supplier, have been hampered by port closure, while cities in Ukraine experience water, food, and energy crises as imports have been curbed.
Kofod-Olsen’s request for NATO escorts came through after labor and maritime organizations’ request for a “blue corridor” aimed at safely evacuating stranded seafarers did not materialize, owing to security risks like mines, the International Transport Workers’ Federation reported to the Insider.
Security officers added that such a corridor could create a route for Russian military ships into Ukraine.