KYIV (Reuters) – Merchant sailors will be allowed to leave Ukraine if they receive approval from their local military administrative body, the Ukrainian prime minister said on Saturday, a move that could ease the process of shipping grain from the country’s ports.
Premier Denys Shmyhal said the decision had been approved by the cabinet on Saturday. The change would cover male crew members of sea and river vessels, as well as students who need to undertake practical training aboard ships, he added.
The decision is likely to ease a shortage of sailors able and willing to crew ships coming into and out of Ukraine to export grain via an internationally brokered corridor.
Ukrainian men aged 18-60 have largely been barred from leaving Ukraine under a state of martial law imposed as the country battles the Russian invasion. Women of all ages have been free to leave throughout the war.
(Reporting by Max Hunder; Editing by Pravin Char)