Kiev reveals planned volume of grain exports by sea
Kiev plans to export around 3 million tons of wheat and other agricultural products per month through the Black Sea ports, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Yury Vaskov said on Friday, after representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the UN, and Turkey signed a deal to unblock exports of grain, food, and fertilizers from Ukrainian ports.
“If we are talking about the volume, it can be 3 or more million tons per month. We will launch it gradually, and in a few weeks, we can talk about a more accurate volume. But we see that 3 million tons or more is possible,” Vaskov told the newspaper Economic Truth.
In a separate interview with Forbes Ukraine, Vaskov said that the first vessel with grain could be ready to leave Ukraine in four days, while all three ports – Odessa, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny – will be fully operational within three weeks.
Ukrainian Navy and Coast Guard captains will escort the ships to avoid mined waters, as the ports will only be partially cleared of mines. As part of the agreement, the UN also promised to facilitate the removal of obstacles to the export of Russian food and fertilizers, which are currently blocked in Russian Black Sea ports due to sanctions.
Black Sea deliveries from Ukraine, the world’s fifth largest grain producer, were disrupted after Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state in late February. Kiev and some Western officials previously accused Russia of deliberately preventing the shipments, but Moscow repeatedly insisted that Ukraine made the shipments impossible by laying naval mines in the waterways around the ports.
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