Report: UN pushing to reopen Ukraine’s ports for grain and fertiliser shipments

(Reuters filepix)

(Reuters filepix)

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 5): The United Nations (UN) is pushing to reopen Ukraine’s ports for grain and fertilizer shipments.

In a report on Friday (June 3), industry news provider The Maritime Executive (TME) said the UN had previously advocated for safe corridors for shipping from the Ukrainian ports and across the Black Sea, while Russia has said it would be willing but also cites the need to remove western sanctions.

It said UN Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine, Amin Awad had confirmed that the organisation was making every effort to secure the release of grain stuck in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.

It said the UN cited the massive stores of grain waiting to be shipped and the ships that remain in Ukrainian ports that should be transporting the vital supplies of grain and fertiliser exports.

Awad said it was five million tons a month or 100 ships a month.

He said rail transportation or trucking could not manage the same volume and were fraught with logistical problems.

“So, it really has to be a maritime movement…to export 50- to 60 million tons of food out to the world,” said Awad,

TME quoted Awad as saying that the negotiations are ongoing.

“There (are) a lot of details and shuttling between Moscow and other countries that have concerns, and the negotiations continue.

“But there’s no clear-cut emerging solution right now because it’s a board of puzzles that have to move together,” he said.

TME said the UN acknowledged the assistance of allies on both sides of the conflict seeking to assist in opening the ports and resuming trade.