Ukraine Announces New Humanitarian Corridor In Black Sea To Ship Grain

Ukraine has been considering using its recently tested Black Sea export corridor for shipping grain after the first-ever successful evacuation of a vessel on the channel last week, a senior agricultural official mentioned on Monday.

Russia has reportedly blockaded the ports of Ukraine since it invaded its neighbour last year in February and threatened to treat vessels as possible military targets after it had pulled out of an UN-backed safe passage deal around the previous month.

Grain Ship
Representation Image

In response, Ukraine declared a “humanitarian corridor” hugging the western coastline of the sea near Bulgaria and Romania. A Hong Kong-flagged container vessel was stuck at the Odesa port since the invasion had travelled that route last week without facing any challenges or being fired upon.

Only a commercial vessel has passed through so far; it has shown readiness to move by alternative channels. Denys Marchuk, the deputy head of the Agrarian Council, Ukraine’s greatest agribusiness organization, informed the national television.

Besides, there must be a movement of about 7 or 8 more vessels … then in the future, such alternate routes will serve as a corridor for the movement of ships that are travelling with cargoes of oil seeds and grain, he mentioned.

The Financial Times added that Kyiv was finalizing a deal with some global insurers to cover grain vessels commuting to and from the Black Sea ports, citing Oleksandr Gryban, Ukraine’s deputy economy minister.

Ukraine has long been a major grain grower and exporter globally and typically ships millions of metric tons of food from the deepwater Black Sea ports of Mykolaiv and Odesa but has also had to rely on Danube river ports as Russia managed to pull out of the agreement.

To attract vessel owners to Ukraine’s ports that have come under fire from Russia’s forces, Marchuk mentioned that Ukraine had allocated 20 billion hryvnias for vessel insurance.

He mentioned that not every ship owner would be willing to put their vessels in an uncertain environment.

References: Business Day, Reuters

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