Ukrainian officials will be keeping an eye on water levels along the Danube this summer as more grain exports look likely to be shifted along Europe’s longest river with Russia making shipments via the Black Sea near impossible.
The head of the Ukraine Sea Ports Authority stated yesterday that the Danube will become the key outlet for Ukrainian exports as Russia blocks Black Sea shipments.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative, fostered last year by Turkey, the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine, is up for renewal on July 18, with much speculation Russia will not renew it. In recent weeks, Ukraine has been unable to shift many cargoes from its three approved Black Sea ports, citing interference from Russia.
“With Russia effectively blocking the operation of the grain corridor, we need to be ready to receive almost the entire export volume of the new harvest through the Danube ports,” Dmytro Barinov, the sea ports authority’s deputy head, said on Facebook yesterday.
Kyiv is keen to deepen the Bystre Canal on the Danube to allow larger vessels to transit.