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Defence Forces specify factors under which navigation corridor in Black Sea can operate

28 October, 2023 Saturday
18:18

Operational Command South's press center head Natalia Humeniuk says that only the Ukrainian Defense Forces can give permission to talk about ships sailing through the navigation corridor

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She said this on Espreso TV.

"The navigation corridor, which was proposed to restore shipping in our country, is provided by the Ukrainian Defence Forces in the security sense. That is, it is not regular traffic that works according to a schedule. This is a possible alternative option that was proposed in the context of war, including the danger of mines and air threats. Only if all the components coincide favourably, which include, by the way, the economic component, weather, security and many other factors, can the vessels move," the 1st Rank Captain explained.

According to her, only when there is permission from the Defence Forces can we talk about the movement of ships, that is, under conditions when the vessel can safely reach at least the territorial waters of other states.

"The threat from the air has not disappeared. The Russian tactical aviation is pressing and continuing to fly over the navigation corridor, where it is dropping unknown explosive devices and guided bombs. This corridor is not a grain corridor, so the Ukrainian Grain Association cannot manage it, but can use it on general terms. This corridor does not operate in an open mode according to any schedule, and information on its functioning is rather limited and is provided to the direct participants in the process of vessel traffic. The navigational, in fact humanitarian, corridor operates under safe conditions and allows cargo to move and gradually restore shipping in Ukraine," Humeniuk summed up 

Information on the grain corridor

On 17 July, Russia announced the termination of the grain deal. In response, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that it was necessary to continue using the grain corridor even despite Russia's withdrawal from the agreement. 

On August 4, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov said that Ukraine would send ships with its own grain to wherever it deems necessary and would not ask anyone for permission.

On August 10, the Ukrainian Navy announced a temporary humanitarian corridor for merchant ships sailing to and from Ukrainian ports.

On August 12, Ukraine opened the registration of merchant ships and their owners who are ready to use temporary routes to Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea.

On August 16, the first vessel left the port of Odesa after Russia announced that it would terminate the grain deal on July 16, 2023.

On August 25, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan. The politicians discussed, among other things, the grain deal. Fidan stated that Ankara sees "no alternative" to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the original grain deal that Ukraine and Russia concluded with the mediation of the UN and Turkey.

On August 26, the second vessel left the port of Odesa, and on September 1, two more vessels blocked due to the war left the port of Pivdennyi in the Odesa region.

On September 4, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, following a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, expressed hope that an agreement on the Black Sea Grain Initiative would be reached in a short time.

On September 16, the blocked bulk carrier PUMA (Cayman Islands) left the Odesa seaport. The vessel was loaded with 16,000 tons of metal and 14,000 tons of rapeseed.

On the same day, Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said that the first civilian ships had confirmed their readiness to use the route to the Chornomorsk port to load almost 20,000 tons of wheat for Africa and Asia.

On September 16, Kubrakov said that after Russia withdrew from the grain deal, the occupiers struck Ukraine's ports 118 times. About a third of the infrastructure was damaged or destroyed.

On September 19, the vessel RESILIENT AFRICA left Odesa's Chornomorsk port via a temporary corridor: it was loaded with 3,000 tons of wheat. 

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