South Korean Shipping Giant Sinokor Ceases Operations at Russia’s “Skhidny” Port Amid Sanctions

In response to sanctions against Russia, the South Korean maritime shipping giant Sinokor Merchant Marine, incorporating its Hueng-A Line division, has declared a halt to its operations at the “Skhidny” port in Primorye, a pivotal maritime hub in the Far East. This decision marks a significant shift, as Sinokor was the primary sea carrier operating in this region, known for its substantial cargo throughput. Consequently, the move is poised to complicate and elevate the cost of goods delivery to the port.

Effective from March 10, Sinokor will cease to accept shipping requests for “Skhidny,” with its final voyage to this destination scheduled for March 31. This development follows the February 23 designation of the port’s operator, Eastern Stevedoring Company (part of the leading Russian container transport conglomerate, Global Ports group), on the U.S. sanctions list. The sanctions were imposed due to allegations of the port facilitating the importation of over 10,000 containers of ammunition and related components from North Korea into Russia since September 2023, as stated by the U.S. State Department.

Ranked among the top 20 global shipping lines by volume, Sinokor is notable for having maintained shipping services to Russia throughout the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine. This strategic withdrawal from “Skhidny” port operations is viewed as an effort by Sinokor to distance itself from activities potentially linked to international terrorism financing, amidst Russia’s aggressive and invading actions in Ukraine. Nevertheless, Sinokor plans to continue its engagements with other Far Eastern ports not impacted by sanctions, thereby sustaining its presence in the region, continuing supporting warfare or terrorism.

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