Odessa, October 20, 2014 – Boris Babin, the Executive Secretary of the Ukrainian Independent Maritime union, spoke about the problems that have arisen before sailors from the Crimea, after the annexation of the peninsula by the Russian Federation.
The union takes the 3rd place among maritime unions in numbers. There are 2,000 members, including sailors from the occupied territories.
In Ukraine there are more than 100,000 seafarers working mainly on foreign ships. Ukraine occupies, according to various estimates, 1 or 2 place to supply the commander of the shipping companies. After the occupation of the Crimea life of sailors, who live on the peninsula, became much difficult. Neither more nor less than 30,000 sailors live there. The main problem is the question of citizenship. Since New Year the Russian Federation will take Ukrainian documents by force, and change them to Russian. But such documents with the Crimean residence permit will not be recognized in most countries of the world. In addition, marine documents are issued by port captains, and Ukraine closed the Crimean ports in June this year. All documents drawn up after that date shall be recognized only in Russia itself. While the vast majority of seafarers working on foreign ship-owners.
Currently, the sailors have to go and execute international documents on the mainland in Ukraine. But if they pass Ukrainian passport and get a Russian Crimean residence permit, the Ukrainian crewing agencies and assessment centers will no longer work with them.
In the Crimea were 5 Universities ready sailors. Graduates of this year received Ukrainian documents and were the last students who have not had any problems with subsequent employment. Current students can only rely on the diploma of the Russian model with whom they will work only on the court of Russian Ship-owners. A Russian merchant fleet is extremely small. It cannot provide sufficient cargo to Crimean ports and those eking out a miserable existence. In this case, the salary of the Crimean seafarers employed on the Russian courts to local transport, have greatly reduced. If their salary in Ukraine, on average, was 10 thousand UAH, now dropped to 15 thousand Rubles, which is 2 times smaller. That is the level of social and material security of seafarers in the Crimea greatly decreased.
Seamen documents in Ukraine are made faster and easier than in Russia, so even ardent fans of the Russian Federation to register it travel to Odessa, Kherson and Nikolayev.
In connection with the problems of the legal status of the Crimean sailors and their social protection, the union filed a request to the UN, OSCE, Ukrainian authorities to clarify the situation, but they are still left unanswered. In this regard, in order to minimize problems and losses, for the sailors of the Crimea and the students of Maritime Universities of peninsula, Babin Boris recommends:
1) In any case do not give Ukrainian documents, both civil and marine
2) Do not tell anyone about the existence of Ukrainian documents, because from January 1, 2015 they will be forced to withdraw.
3) Draw up all marine documents only on the mainland.
4) Students of Maritime Universities should necessarily transfer to the mainland. With this there are no problems, this is a government program.