Ports, others closely watching Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and sanctions

Published: Feb. 25, 2022 at 7:36 PM CST
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The Port of South Louisiana along the Mississippi River.
The Port of South Louisiana along the Mississippi River.(Source: WVUE)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - People in the business of trade are closely monitoring Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and sanctions the U.S. and NATO have slapped on Russia.

The Port of South Louisiana says it is the largest grain port in the U.S.

Paul Matthews is the executive director of the port. He said much of the grain comes from the Midwest.

“Those farmers who are feeding the rest of the world and those grains come through our port so we can get them to vessels all throughout the world,” said Matthews.

But the global market is pensive due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“On a daily basis we are always keenly aware of what’s happening globally because we understand that global markets, global issues, and global conflicts could impact what is happening right here on the Lower Mississippi River,” said Matthews.

Economists say repercussions of the conflict and sanctions will be felt in the U.S. and more so in Europe.

“As of right now, with our imports and exports we continue to operate in standard form and its business as usual,” said Matthews.

At the Port of New Orleans this week, a Ukrainian mariner was stranded on a vessel because his voyage had ended, and his VISA was expiring. Honorary Consul to Ukraine Edward Hayes worked to help the work and he said on Friday the captain of the vessel allowed the mariner to sail from New Orleans.

“These kinds of situations, we’re going to face more and more,” said Hayes.

Matthews says there have been no such problems at the Port of South Louisiana.

“That has not been an issue or any reports of that the Port of South Louisiana,” he said.

On Friday, the U.S., Britain, and the European Union said they will move to sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Foreign Minister over the invasion, and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki indicated U.S. sanctions will include a travel ban.

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