Ukraine’s Black Sea export pathway disruption raises concerns amid conflicting reports News
LukasJohnns / Pixabay
Ukraine’s Black Sea export pathway disruption raises concerns amid conflicting reports

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov on Thursday refuted reports that Ukraine is halting the usage of its newly established Black Sea grain export pathway. Kubrakov stated on X (previously known as Twitter), “The information regarding the cancellation or unscheduled stoppage of the temporary #Ukrainian_corridor for the movement of civilian vessels from and to the ports of the Big Odesa is false. All available routes established by the Ukrainian Navy are valid and being used by civilian vessels.”

This comes as Kyiv-based Barva Invest consultancy and British security firm Ambrey reported that Ukraine had suspended use of the corridor due to a possible risk posed by Russian warplanes and sea mines. “We would like to inform you of a temporary suspension of vessel traffic to and from (the ports). The current ban is in force on October 26, but it is possible that it will be extended,” Barva said on the Telegram messaging app.

In an attempt to rejuvenate its seaborne exports without seeking Russian authorization, Ukraine has been using the corridor despite Moscow’s withdrawal from a UN-brokered deal in July. This deal previously facilitated the flow of certain food exports despite the ongoing conflict.

Despite the potential threats from Russia, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy affirmed on Friday his commitment to keeping the export corridor open. He conveyed this assurance during separate phone calls, one with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and another with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Just last week, during a visit to Beijing, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he had ordered Russian warplanes armed with Kinzhal missiles to patrol the Black Sea.