Three more cargo vessels, this time carrying Ukrainian metallurgical products, have breached a Russian naval blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports, metallurgical enterprises holding company Metinvest said in a press release on Sept. 4.
The cargo ships Primus, Anna Thereza and Ocean Courtesy, which had been trapped in Ukrainian ports since Feb. 24, 2022, have now left the ports of Odesa and Pivdennyi. They are the second, third and fourth ships, to leave Ukrainian ports after Russia withdrew from the "grain deal" that allowed Ukraine to export crops from three of its Black Sea ports.
The ships are carrying Ukrainian metallurgical and mining products manufactured before the start of the full-scale war, including over 76,000 tons of rolled metal products from the Azovstal, Zaporizhstal, Kametstal, and ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih metallurgical plants, as well as 172,000 tons of iron ore concentrate from the Metinvest Group's Mining Division.
The Ukrainian metal and iron ore concentrate are on their way to foreign buyers who had paid for the products before the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
"The breach of the Black Sea blockade by ships carrying Ukrainian steel is a historic moment, the first step towards the full unblocking of maritime exports for the entire range of Ukrainian products: fertilizers, metals, ores, food, pipes, equipment and more,” said Oleksandr Vodoviz, head of the Project Office of the CEO of Metinvest Group.
“As a result, it will lead to the accelerated recovery of the Ukrainian economy, which has suffered enormous losses, including due to the illegal blockade of the Ukrainian ports by Russia.”
The full unblocking of the ports for all types of goods will allow Ukraine not only to regain its status as a maritime state, but also to bring in additional tens of billions of dollars in foreign exchange earnings annually, hundreds of billions of hryvnia in additional tax revenues to the state budget, and provide hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians with jobs and stable incomes for their families, Vodoviz said.
Russia is ready to consider resuming the grain trade, but only after lifting restrictions on the export of Russian agricultural products, said Russian dictator Vladimir Putin said after a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Russian Black Sea coastal town of Sochi on Sept. 4.
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