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Ukrainian Navy explains how Ukraine ensures Black Sea maritime corridor operation

Ukrainian Navy explains how Ukraine ensures Black Sea maritime corridor operation Photo: The Black Sea maritime corridor operates mostly in NATO waters (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Ukraine has managed to ensure the operation of the Black Sea maritime corridor because most of the route lies in waters that are untouchable for Moscow, according to Ukrainian Navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk.

"The main component of success is that most of the current corridor runs through the territorial waters of NATO member states: Romania, Bulgaria, and the Republic of Türkiye. Territorial waters - 12 nautical miles from the coast, according to international law - are the sovereign territory of a state," he says.

According to him, the legal regime there is the same as in the state to which they belong.

"It is as if you were on the land of that country. And for Russia, this territory remains untouchable," Pletenchuk adds.

According to the Navy spokesperson, Russians may throw threats on their TV, but in reality, they are well aware that they cannot afford to enter into a confrontation with the North Atlantic Alliance.

Ukrainian part

"Accordingly, there remains the part that is in Ukrainian waters, which Russia has been trying to work on for quite some time," he says.

Pletenchuk says that now the Russians are sending ballistic missiles there periodically, and Ukraine shoots down most of the missiles on approach.

"They (Russians - ed.) tried to mine this area - for quite a long time they were dropping bottom mines in containers from Su-24 aircraft. But after they shot down that Su-24, they changed their minds. There were cases when they approached with strategic aircraft, such as Tu-22s, but then they abandoned this idea as well. Russian aviation dominates the air, but we mostly repel air attacks. And they don't want to hit a ship flying a foreign flag either," he adds.

According to him, the Ukrainian Navy carries out mine safety, anti-sabotage activities, patrolling, convoying - all this is done by its forces and resources to ensure security in this area, which is our territorial waters

"Moreover, there was a period when Russian ships sailing either from our occupied territories or from Russia to the Bosphorus also hid from us in Turkish territorial waters, realizing that no one would touch them there," Pletenchuk says.

Sea corridor

After Russia withdrew from the grain deal in July 2023, Ukraine created a special sea corridor designed to protect grain and metallurgical products exported from Black Sea ports.

The average monthly capacity of the sea corridor is about 7 million tons. According to the National Bank of Ukraine's forecast, this will allow farmers to export all products intended for export.