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Ukraine needs unblocking of ports for swift economic recovery

Ukraine needs unblocking of ports for swift economic recovery Ukraine needs full unblocking of ports to restore its economic potential (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Maria Kholina

Russia has turned the Grain Deal into a blackmail tool, and the world must put an end to this and ensure the full unblocking of seaports for Ukraine's swift economic recovery, said the head of the Entrepreneurship Council Secretariat at the Cabinet of Ministers, Andriy Zablovsky.

Russia is using the grain deal as a means of blackmail, intermittently suspending and reinstating it while creating new problems and restrictions. However, Zablovsky says that with the help of international partners, the functioning of the deal can be preserved. He believes that although challenges and unexpected hurdles may arise, there are opportunities for successful precedents in fully unlocking maritime ports.

The issue of full port unblocking was raised at the state leadership level last year, and now it is entirely feasible to implement it and ensure free navigation in the Black Sea, according to Zablovsky.

"There are indeed numerous current issues. Nevertheless, our experience has shown that the key to success lies in continuing to work with the international community, the United Nations, and Turkey. Convincing them that this model can work successfully for other commodity groups vital to our economic recovery. Secondly, we need to utilize security opportunities - both our own and NATO's - through joint patrols. One possible approach is to start with small-scale pilot projects. No one will allow an immediate full-scale restoration of port operations, but limited pilot projects with a small number of ships may be feasible, just to demonstrate that it can work successfully," Zablovsky said.

According to him, Ukraine urgently needs to restore port operations as the speed of economic recovery depends on it significantly.

"We understand that 80% of metallurgy is export-oriented, and for certain metallurgical goods, even more so. Unlocking ports is vital for the survival of the metallurgical industry, preserving the metallurgical sector, and the real economy. This concerns budget matters and the revival of economic potential. These are non-negotiable matters," concluded the expert.

Earlier, Member of Parliament and Deputy Chair of the Committee on Transport and Infrastructure of the Verkhovna Rada, Yulia Klymenko, said that Ukraine should have started efforts one and a half years ago to stop Russian piracy in the Black Sea and secure the opening of ports while blocking any Russian actions in the region.