(Reuters) — Ukraine will offer compensation for any damage to civilian ships calling at its ports, Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Friday, as Kiev seeks to boost exports vital to its war-torn economy.
Ukraine is a major producer and exporter of agricultural products, metals and chemicals but has faced blockades of Black Sea ports since Russia’s invasion a year ago and only food cargo can be shipped abroad.
Mr Kubrakov said on Twitter that Ukraine’s parliament had approved a law to set up a $500 million insurance fund.
“We are working to resume delivery and expand the range of products. I invite countries of the civilized world and interested companies to cooperate,”; said Kubrakov.
Ukraine said this week it would ask Turkey and the United Nations to open talks to roll over the Black Sea grain deal agreed last year, seeking an extension of at least a year that would include the ports of Mykolaiv.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative brokered by the UN and Turkey last July allowed grain to be exported from three Ukrainian ports. The agreement was extended in November and expires on March 18 if an extension is not agreed upon.