The creation of a blue safe maritime corridor to allow the safe evacuation of seafarers and ships from the high-risk and affected areas in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov was among the other decisions taken at an extraordinary session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) held on March 10 & 11.

Some key decisions announced include:

* Ukraine has, on multiple occasions, expressed grave concerns about the Russian Federation's unlawful unilateral actions in Crimea, and their consequences for the safety and security of navigation in the northern part of the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait;

* Strongly condemned the Russian Federation's violation of the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of a United Nations Member State, extending to its territorial waters, which was inconsistent with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the purposes of IMO as set forth in Article 1 of the Convention, and represents a grave danger to life and serious risk to safety of navigation and the marine environment;

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*Deplored the attacks of the Russian Federation aimed at commercial vessels, their seizures, including search-and-rescue vessels, threatening the safety and welfare of seafarers and the marine environment; and

* Demanded that the Russian Federation cease its unlawful activities to ensure the safety and welfare of seafarers and the security of international shipping and the marine environment in all affected areas, and respect its obligations under relevant international treaties and conventions, and called upon all parties to seek to resolve the crisis through peaceful dialogue and diplomatic channels.

The proposed blue safe maritime corridor will "ensure the mobilisation and commercial navigation of vessels intending to use this corridor by avoiding military attacks and protecting and securing the maritime domain."

The meeting also sought, as a priority, "ships should be allowed to sail form the ports of Ukraine at the earliest opportunity without threat of attack; and for those ships that cannot leave immediately or where it would be unsafe to do so due to the presence of sea mines or other hazards, humanitarian corridors should be set up that enable the safety of seafarers by allowing them to leave the conflict zone and return home, as appropriate."

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