The Ukrainian market of vessel pilotage services should be de-monopolized in the near future, Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelian said during a meeting with journalists in Kyiv on Wednesday, 8 February, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reports.

"I think that the Delta Lotsman company’s monopoly is wrong. I believe that if we are going in the direction of lowering port charges and fees, it will be absolutely logical to take the corresponding step in relation to pilotage. If we are talking about creating a free market by enacting a new law on rail transport, the same should apply to Delta Lotsman," the minister said.

The minister also said that private pilots should enter the market. "There should be private pilots. This market should be de-monopolized. In addition, we are already seeing that some obscure companies are appearing around Delta Lotsman with the aim of operating part-time here and there. The sooner the government resolves this issue the better," said Omelian.

Delta Lotsman is a structural unit of the state-owned Ukrainian Ports Authority. It provides services involving pilotage of vessels and regulation of vessel traffic in the waters and approach canals of Ukrainian seaports and terminals, in the Bug-Dnieper-Liman canal, the Kherson sea canal, and the Danube-Black Sea deep-sea shipping canal.

Delta Lotsman has six regional divisions in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, River Danube, and the Dnieper-Bug and Azov basins.