MOSCOW : Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Wednesday that the government plans to retaliate against the countries that ban Russian ships from entering their ports.
Mishustin threatened to retaliate against the nations barring Russian ships during a governmental meeting, in which the prime minister revealed several steps Russia is taking to protect its domestic economy against international sanctions, Reuters reported.
Mishustin said the government is “closely monitoring” food prices, especially bread. On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order banning the export of some goods and raw materials.
“Sanctions-linked turbulence will end, sooner or later,” Mishustin said, according to the publication.
The prime minister did not specify how the government would retaliate. Putin has said in the past that the West’s support for Ukraine in the form of sanctions and providing supplies to Ukraine is “akin to declaring war.”
Mishustin’s statement comes as an estimated 60,000 Russian and Ukrainian sailors are stuck at ports, The Wall Street Journal reported. Because Russian ships are no longer allowed into several Western ports, the crew are left in limbo — unable to deliver or collect cargo. The Journal said many have been unable to secure travel home or collect payment due to sanctions.
Over 10% of the global shipping workforce comes from Russia — a factor that could cause further labor shortages at sea and supply-chain delays if Russian sailors are forced home.
The UK banned Russian ships from entering their ports last week. The EU and US are also reportedly considering a similar ban. On Tuesday, Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports.
Shipping companies have taken similar measures. Last week, the world’s three largest shipping companies announced they would no longer call on Russian ports. The decision followed multiple reports of cargo ships off the coast of Ukraine being used as “human shields” for Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
If sanctions on Russian ships continue, the country could find itself cut off from trade with much of the world outside of Asian shipping companies.