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Ukraine: Alternative Black Sea Export Corridor is Working Despite Attack

FILE PHOTO: A view shows a grain terminal in the sea port in Odesa after restarting grain export, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, Ukraine August 19, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo

KYIV, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s alternative Black Sea export corridor is working despite a recent Russian attack on a civilian vessel, Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Thursday.

Ukrainian officials said on Wednesday a Russian missile damaged a Liberia-flagged civilian ship entering a Black Sea port in the Odesa region, killing one person and injuring four others. The vessel was supposed to transport iron ore to China.

“#Ukrainian_Corridor: vessel traffic continues both to and from the ports of Big Odesa (region),” Kubrakov said on the X social media platform.

He said that six vessels with 231,000 tons of agricultural products on board had left ports within the Odesa region and were heading towards the Bosphorus Strait in Turkey.

“Five vessels are waiting to enter ports for loading. Traffic along the #Ukrainian_Corridor continued despite Russia’s systematic attacks on port infrastructure,” Kubrakov added.

After pulling out of a U.N.-brokered deal that guaranteed safe shipments of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea, Russia has been repeatedly attacking Ukrainian port infrastructure.

In August, Ukraine launched a “humanitarian corridor” for ships bound for African and Asian markets to try to circumvent a de facto Russian blockade in the Black Sea of Kyiv’s seaborne exports, imposed after Russian forces invaded Ukraine in 2022.

Later, a senior agricultural official said the route – which runs along Ukraine’s southwest Black Sea coast, into Romanian territorial waters and onwards to Turkey – would also be used for grain shipments.

Kubrakov said 91 vessels had exported 3.3 million metric tons of agricultural and metal products since the corridor started operating in August.

The UCAB agricultural business association said this month that Ukrainian grain agricultural exports rose by 15% to 4.8 million metric tons in October thanks to the new corridor.

Source : Reuters