Ukraine will be able to continue exporting grain through the Black Sea even without Russian support – the government has a "plan B" to continue exports if the grain deal fails.
This was told to Reuters by the Minister of agrarian policy of Ukraine Mykola Solsky.
Last July, the United Nations and Turkey mediated the Black Sea Grain Initiative between Moscow and Kiev to help tackle the global food crisis.
Mykola Solsky said Russia has already blocked the use of Ukraine's main Black Sea port of Pivdenny despite the agreement and allows only one vessel a day to deliver Ukrainian food to certain countries.
Russia has said it will let more vessels through if all parties to the grain deal agree to unblock the transit of Russian ammonia through a pipeline through Ukraine to Yuzhny for export.
"The actions that have been taking place there in recent days say more about what really only legally looks like this corridor is working, but in reality nothing special is happening there," Solsky said.
"Plan B... excludes the fourth party [Russia] in these relations," he said.
The minister also said that the government has already created a special insurance fund in the amount of about $ 547 million for companies whose ships will call at Ukrainian ports of the Black Sea under the new agreement.
"If we are completely blocked, which almost actually happened, then carriers can pass through this corridor with guaranteed insurance from our government," Solsky said.
"If we are completely blocked, which almost (already) actually happened, then carriers can go (along this corridor) with guaranteed insurance from our government," Solsky said.
According to him, the owners of the vessels can have "quite strong" confidence that the Ukrainian military and its air defense "can do their job."
A U.N. spokesman said Thursday that Russia had informed officials observing the initiative that Moscow would restrict registration at the port of Yuzhny until all sides agreed to unblock transit of Russian ammonia.
We will remind, at the end of May, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the "grain deal" on the corridor in the Black Sea was extended for another two months.
- Poland is driving the Ukrainian economy into a dead end: why is this happening and what will happen next
- Grain blockade: why Ukrainian agricultural products are blocked from joining the European Union
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expressed protest to Poland and the EU over the ban on Ukrainian grain