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Minister: Ukraine exports 15 mn tons of cargo via Black Sea corridor in five months amid Russia’s blockade

Amid Russia’s ongoing sea blockade of Ukraine’s ports, Ukraine has shipped 15 million tons of cargo over five months using newly established temporary routes after Russia’s withdrawal from the UN-brokered grain deal.
grain deal
A bulk carrier leaves a Ukrainian Black Sea port on 1 September 2023. Credit: The Ministry of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure of Ukraine.
Minister: Ukraine exports 15 mn tons of cargo via Black Sea corridor in five months amid Russia’s blockade
In five months, almost 15 million tons of cargo have been exported through the Ukrainian Black Sea shipping corridor, according to Oleksandr Kubrakov, Vice Prime Minister for the Restoration of Ukraine, Minister of Development of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure of Ukraine.

The Minister said that of those 15 million tonnes of exports by sea, 10 million account for Ukrainian agricultural goods.

“Over the five months of the corridor’s operation, 469 new vessels have called at our Ukrainian ports for loading. Currently, 39 vessels are being loaded in the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdennyi. Another 83 vessels have confirmed their readiness to call at the ports and export 2.4 million tons of cargo,” the Inrastructure Ministry wrote.

Russia started the blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports from the beginning of its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

In August 2022, the first commercial vessel carrying Ukrainian grain left Odesa Port under the grain deal brokered by Türkiye and the UN. Over the subsequent year, Russia suspended the deal several times and delayed the inspection of the vessels, demanding to ease Western sanctions against Russia. Finally, in July 2023, Russia withdrew from the deal along with a threat to consider all vessels as potential military targets.

Later in July, Ukraine informed the UN shipping agency about establishing a temporary shipping route to maintain grain shipments after Russia quit the Black Sea grain agreement. The temporary corridor has been adjacent to Romania and Bulgaria along the western Black Sea coast. In August, Ukraine announced temporary routes for commercial vessels sailing to and from Ukraine’s Black Sea seaports.

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