• 2022 March 21

    From Whom: Vitaliy Chernov


    About: Baltic blockade: what is it about?

    - The Baltic states suggested restricting Russian ships from calling their ports. Albeit planned as a ban on the EU level it seems to be implemented only on a regional level. It is not very clear from official statements if only Russian-flagged ships are to be banned or ships owned by Russian ship owners are also to be covered, or, probably all ships carrying Russian cargo.

    If it is only applicable to ships under the flag of the Russian Federation, it should be noted that only relatively small ships carrying general cargo or auxiliary ships used to call the Baltic states’ ports. The main cargo flow from Russia to the Baltics included fertilizers (about 8 million tonnes per year), ore, grain, coal and oil products (2 million tonnes each or less). In 2021, the ports of the Baltic states accounted for only 2% of cargo shipped from the Russian ports.

    Export of mineral fertilizers from Russia has been suspended anyway with the rest to be distributed among the Russian ports. It doesn't make much difference for the Russian Federation but it means the loss of quite a share in the cargo throughput of the Baltic states themselves. Thus, it is not evident if there is anything except a symbolic gesture in the proposed measure.