The Joint War Committee (JWC) has added Russian and Ukrainian territorial waters in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to its influential list of high-risk areas.

The designation comes amid increasing naval operations in the region and the continued threat of an invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

The JWC described the move as “precautionary”, adding: “There have been no maritime incidents but the possibility of a miscalculation is clear, so the JWC have enabled notification of voyages to underwriters.”

The committee represents marine insurers in the Lloyd’s of London market, through the Lloyd’s Market Association, and the London company market, through the International Underwriting Association.

The JWC high-risk areas are used by war risk and other marine underwriters in calculating premium.

The designation was widely expected amid growing tensions in the region linked to the Russian military presence on the border of Ukraine. A similar assessment is being made by London’s Aviation Hull War Committee.

There has also been an increase in Russian Navy drills in the waters around Crimea.

According to reports from Russia’s RIA news agency this week, around 30 ships from the Russian Black Sea fleet have begun drills around the Crimea peninsula.

The drills are intended to prepare the fleet for the defence of the coast of Crimea. Russia is also planning navy exercises in the Atlantic and Pacific, RIA said.