Russia to open Black Sea ferry line from Crimea to Turkey

Russia to open Black Sea ferry line from Crimea to Turkey
The Crimean peninsula is ready to launch a ferry service to the Turkish Black Sea coast.

“Negotiations with the freight-shipping agents have been carried out. The Crimean ports involved in the Turkey-Crimea-Turkey ferry line will be announced soon,” said CEO of Crimean Sea Ports Aleksey Volkov. The line will be opened this fall, he added.

“Ports and services are ready, comfortable conditions for the forthcoming cooperation are provided, we are waiting for the partners’ decision and signing the agreement,” Volkov told TASS news agency.

The ferry will be used for cargo this year, and passenger traffic will begin in 2019, he said. The Crimean peninsula will deliver meat to Turkey, while the latter will ship fruits and vegetables.

The CEO said that the issue is currently being worked through, so further details cannot currently be disclosed. “With the warming of relations between Russia and Turkey, I think we will work this out,” Volkov said.

Turkey has changed its attitude towards Crimea several times. Last year, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a decree banning all shipments from Crimea, saying that he supported Ukraine’s claim to the peninsula.

Political analysts have noted that cooperation with Russia could be much more profitable for Turkey than with Ukraine.

“Ankara does not receive significant economic benefits from Kiev, but the Ukrainian factor is painful and destabilizing in relations with Russia. The choice between Ukraine and Russia is quite obvious for Erdogan – Moscow is both strategically and economically a more promising partner,” Aleksey Obraztsov, the leading researcher at the Center for Asian and African Studies of the Higher School of Economics, told the Economy Today website.

“The Turkish establishment came to the conclusion that Ukraine is a failed state, and is showing the relevant attitude towards it,” he added.

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