Russia Using NAVTEX Maritime Communication System for Disinformation: UK

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday March 22, 2022

Russia is endangering shipping in the Black Sea by using the NAVTEX maritime communication system to distribute disinformation, according to the UK government.

The British Foreign Office sent an open letter to the IMO on Friday alleging that Russia had sent a message over the NAVTEX system from Novorossiysk on Wednesday containing disinformation about the war in Ukraine.

The system is typically used to deliver navigational and meteorological warnings and forecasts, as well as other safety information.

"We are concerned by the Russian Federation's use of NAVTEX – a maritime shipping communication system – in this way," the ministry said in the letter.

"NAVTEX is a conduit for safety messages enshrined in the Safety of Life at Sea international convention devoted to the perseveration of life at sea.

"We remain deeply concerned that the Russian Federation's use of NAVTEX for disinformation messaging endangers internationally trading ships operating in the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

"The United Kingdom urges the IMO Member States to condemn the Russian Federation's wholly inappropriate use of NAVTEX."

The Black Sea and surrounding areas have become a dangerous area for commercial shipping since the start of the invasion, with several vessels damaged and many companies avoiding the region altogether.