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PUBLISHER: Freight News (www.freightnews.co.za)

Russian aggression against merchant interests in the Black Sea south of Ukraine is rising at an alarming rate, with news coming in this morning that two bulk carriers have been detained by warships in Romania’s territorial water.

The Afina and Princess Nicole were on their way to the Port of Odessa (see related report posted today) near the Danube Delta when they were allegedly approached by a Russian warship about 19 nautical miles off Snake Island.

Both vessels turned off their Automatic Identification Systems and it’s not clear what telecommunications were exchanged with the navy ship.

However, the current location of the Ukrainian-flagged ships, loaded with grain, are said to be 18 nautical miles west of the coast of Crimea.

Fifty crew are now stuck at sea with very little forthcoming about the Afina and Nicole’s status.

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