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One of the world's largest container shipping lines has announced it will be suspending deliveries to and from Russia amid its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement released today, March 1, the shipping line explained the suspension would cover all Russian ports, though does not include foodstuffs, medical and humanitarian supplies.
Per Reuters, the statement said: 'As the stability and safety of our operations is already being directly and indirectly impacted by sanctions, new Maersk bookings within ocean and inland to and from Russia will be temporarily suspended.'
Maersk typically operates container shipping routes to St Petersburg and Kaliningrad in the Baltic Sea, Novorossiysk in the Black Sea, and to Vladivostok and Vostochny on the east coast of Russia.
Confirmation of the plans comes after Maersk announced it was considering such a decision yesterday, and that it was 'closely monitoring and preparing to comply with the ever-evolving sanctions and restrictions' being imposed against Russia.
It said at the time that preparations included 'a possible suspension of Maersk bookings to and from Russia on ocean and inland', adding: 'We are at the same time keeping a close eye on developments and assessing the best options for our customers and their cargo.'
Prior to the confirmation of the suspension, Maersk also confirmed it would do its 'utmost' to ensure cargo already on the water reaches its intended destination, though noted that 'air space is also gradually being restricted and our air services will be impacted.'
The shipping line has been active in Russia since 1992 and owns 31% of Russian port operator Global Ports.
Maersk explained it is working with Global Ports in looking at 'how to comply with the ever evolving sanctions and restrictions and preparing possible next steps.'
Maersk joins container shipping company Ocean Network Express (ONE) in suspending bookings to and from Russia, with the latter announcing its decision yesterday in a customer advisory which explained: 'Booking acceptance to and from St Petersburg, Russia is suspended with immediate effect until further notice whilst we evaluate the operational feasibility.'
ONE has also suspended bookings for the Russian port of Novorossiisk, as well as the Ukrainian container port of Odessa.
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