Ukraine-UK partnership to ease Black Sea corridor access

Ukraine, in collaboration with a consortium of British insurance companies, has established a specialised mechanism to facilitate access to the Black Sea corridor for exporters, according to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

“This will make it possible to provide a discount on the cost of insurance against military risks for exporters of all products from Ukraine. This will make the Black Sea corridor more accessible to a wider range of exporters,” Shmyhal said.

This comes after discussions between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak aimed at providing more affordable war risk insurance for exporters shipping goods from Ukraine, including steel and iron ore.

Denys Shmyhal emphasised the Ukrainian government’s commitment by allocating funds to ensure coverage of potential losses. The mechanism involves the participation of the Export Credit Agency, Ukrgasbank, Ukreximbank, and a consortium comprising 14 insurers, Kallanish notes.

Last Wednesday, a Russian anti-radar missile struck a civilian Liberian-flagged cargo ship in Pivdennyi port in Odesa, resulting in the death of a harbour pilot and injuries to three crew members and a port worker. The cargo ship was in the process of loading iron ore destined for China. The missile was believed to have been utilised to potentially target Ukrainian military radars in the region.

After withdrawing from a UN-brokered agreement guaranteeing safe transport of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea, Russia has frequently targeted Ukrainian port infrastructure.
In response to the de facto Russian blockade in the Black Sea hindering Kyiv’s seaborne exports, Ukraine established a “humanitarian corridor” in August for ships heading to African and Asian markets. This route traverses Ukraine’s southwestern Black Sea coast, crosses into Romanian territorial waters, and extends towards Turkey. This corridor, initially designed for humanitarian purposes, is now also utilised for agricultural and steel products shipments.

Meanwhile, ship traffic continues both in and out of the ports of Greater Odessa. Since 8 August, 91 vessels have exported 3.3 million tonnes of agricultural and steel products, while 116 vessels have arrived for loading at the ports of Odessa, Chornomorsk – prior to 2016 named Illichivsk – and Pivdennyi – prior to 2017 named Yuzhnyi.

Elina Virchenko UAE