Shipping companies say they are suspending most deliveries to Russia as the West steps up sanctions over the war in Ukraine.
The world’s three largest shipping companies have suspended non-essential deliveries to Russia, joining a growing list of firms avoiding Moscow amid Western sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine.
Danish shipping giant Maersk, Swiss company MSC and French company CMA CGM all announced on Tuesday that they would no longer take bookings for goods from Russia and were suspending most deliveries to the country.
Citing the impact of the sanctions, “bookings to and from Russia will be temporarily suspended, except for food, medical and humanitarian supplies,” Maersk said in a statement.
MSC announced similar measures, saying it would “continue to accept and screen bookings for the delivery of essential goods”.
CMA CGM said its “top priorities remain protecting our employees and ensuring the continuity of your supply chain as much as possible.”
“In the interest of safety, the group has decided to suspend all bookings to and from Russia from today and until further notice,” he said in a statement posted on his website. website.
Container shipping companies transport the bulk of the world’s manufactured goods, making them an essential part of the global trading system.
Russia is the world’s 11th largest economy and supplier of one-sixth of all commodities and decisions by Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM mean Moscow is effectively cut off from much of the world’s shipping capacity.
The West has imposed heavy restrictions on Russia to cut off its economy from the global financial system, prompting companies to suspend sales, sever ties and dump tens of billions of dollars in investments.
The purpose of the sanctions is “to isolate Russia politically, financially and economically”, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said on Tuesday.
The measures have “already had a massive impact on capital markets and the currency”, he said after a meeting with counterparts from the G7 wealthy nations club.
Other companies that suspended sales in Russia on Tuesday include Apple, Google, Ford and Harley-Davidson.
Apple said it was “deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine” and announced a pause in sales in Russia and other measures, including limiting Apple Pay and dropping the ability to download RT News outside of Russia.
US payment card companies Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc have blocked several Russian financial institutions from their network.
Russian authorities have announced a series of measures aimed at stemming the fall of the ruble and broader financial markets, including a ban on money transfers abroad and the closure of the Moscow Stock Exchange.
The ruble has fallen about 35% since last week when Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion.