(Reuters) – Ukraine, a major producer of cereals, oilseeds and steel products, will guarantee insurance payments to cargo ships damaged in the hostilities on its stretch of the Danube, according to the government decision published on Friday.
Ukraine exports almost all its goods through ports in the Black Sea that are now blocked due to the Russian invasion.
The Danube, the second longest river in Europe, flows through eight countries from the mountains of western Germany to Ukraine and the Black Sea.
“We are talking about the possibility of full-fledged work at only three Ukrainian ports: Reni, Izmail, Ust-Dunaysk. Their role takes precedence,” the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure said on social media.
The government did not provide details about the insurance system but instructed the Ministry of Infrastructure to develop a plan.
Ukrainian agricultural analysts have said that the country, which exported 43 million tonnes during the peace period 2021/22 July-June season, could only export about 1 million tonnes of grain in the next three months due to logistical difficulties.
Before the war, the government said that grain exports could reach 65 million tonnes this season.
Ukraine was the world’s fourth largest grain exporter during the 2020/21 season, according to data from the International Grains Council.
Russia sent troops to Ukraine on February 24 in what is being called a “special military operation” to demilitarize the country. Western countries call it an unprovoked war of aggression.