31 May 2022 10:00

Mariupol commercial port back in operation - DPR head Pushilin

DONETSK. May 31 (Interfax) - Mariupol's commercial port has resumed operation, head of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin told reporters.

"There was an ambitious objective, which we outlined on April 28, to put the port back in operation and to ship the first batch of cargo from it before the end of May. Over this period, 1.5 million square meters of the port's seawaters were demined and some 12,000 explosive items were defused, but vessels have already entered and the dispatch of cargo has begun," Pushilin said.

The port is expected to restore its previous volume of cargo loading before the end of June, he said.

Pushilin also said on Telegram that the port resumed vessel departures.

"Today, 2,500 tonnes of hot-rolled steel coils have left the Mariupol port. The vessel is heading to Rostov-on-Don," Pushilin said.

"This is the biggest port of the Sea of Azov and the only one able to transship all types of cargo, including in winter," he said.

Pushilin said that some of the vessels from the Mariupol port will join the DPR commercial fleet.

"Some of the vessels [which were at the port when the special operation began] will be transferred to the DPR's jurisdiction. Decisions to this effect have already been made. These vessels will be renamed," Pushilin told reports.

Thus, the DPR will be able to form its own commercial fleet, he said.