Shipping group Maersk will temporarily halt all container shipping to and from Russia in response to Western sanctions on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine, the company said on Tuesday.
The move follows similar decisions by Singapore-headquartered Ocean Network Express (ONE), Germany’s Hapag Lloyd and Swiss-based shipping group MSC.
The suspension, covering all Russian ports, would not include foodstuffs, medical and humanitarian supplies, Maersk 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 said in a statement.
The company operates container shipping routes to St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad in the Baltic Sea, Novorossiysk in the Black Sea, and to Vladivostok and Vostochny on Russia’s east coast.
Maersk owns 31 percent of Russian port operator Global Ports , which operates six terminals in Russia and two in Finland. Global Ports’ shareholders also include Russian state nuclear company Rosatom and Russian businessman Sergey Shiskarev.
“With Global Ports we are looking at how to comply with the ever evolving sanctions and restrictions and preparing possible next steps,” Maersk said.
The Copenhagen-based company has around 500 employees in Russia. Last week, it temporarily halted all port calls in Ukraine, where it has some 60 employees in Odessa.