All vessels registered with the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping and also those flying the flags of other countries will not be able to enter Bulgarian ports, both through the sea route or via rivers. The Bulgarian authorities on Thursday closed their ports to all Russian ships, irrespective of the flag under which they sailed.
The decision will come into force two days later, from midnight of April 8, and has a direct link with the directive of the European Union (EU) on the implementation of sanctions against Russia for its aggressive invasion of Ukraine which is now in its second year.
“From April 8, 2023, access to Bulgarian sea and river ports is prohibited for all vessels, regardless of the flag under which they sail, which are certified by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping,” an official statement from the Bulgarian Maritime Administration read.
Ships under Russian flags already cannot enter Bulgarian ports catering to the traffic from the Black Sea. The country’s Maritime Administration set the ban on April 17 as part of the fifth package of EU sanctions, making an exception only for deliveries of critical products from Russia.
That ban, is now being expanded. All vessels registered with the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping and also those flying the flags of other countries will not be able to enter Bulgarian ports, both through the sea route or via rivers.
Exceptions, however, will be made only for ships in distress or seeking humanitarian assistance, or ships transporting energy products, food and pharmaceuticals to countries which are part of the EU.
In the most recent move to isolate Russia, the Norwegian government too has introduced a new package of sanctions against the country and its regime led by President Vladimir Putin.
Source: First Post