На початку року Україна повертала від 100 до 300 українських захисників щомісяця. Але з серпня Росія заблокувала обмін
На початку року Україна повертала від 100 до 300 українських захисників щомісяця. Але з серпня Росія заблокувала обмін
На початку року Україна повертала від 100 до 300 українських захисників щомісяця. Але з серпня Росія заблокувала обмін
Російські війська досі присутні на території Білорусі, однак Збройні сили України поки не фіксують створення там ударних формувань, заявив в ефірі Радіо Свобода (проєкт «Свобода.Ранок») Юрій Повх, речник Об’єднаного пресцентру Сил оборони Північного напрямку. За його словами, ЗСУ контролюють будь-які переміщення та активність угруповань на території Білорусі.
«На кордоні з Білоруссю не виявляється зараз ознак створення ударних угруповань військ противника. Відтак обстановка на кордоні залишається контрольованою. Збройні сили України – і частини, і формування – уважно слідкують за переміщенням і активністю ворога на протилежній території», – сказав військовий.
Юрій Повх розповів, що наразі там залишаються зв’язківці та персонал аеродромів. А підрозділів, які можуть використовуватися для наступу, немає. Йдеться, зокрема, про танкові чи піхотні формування, каже він.
«Російські війська продовжують перебувати на території Білорусі в поточний конкретний момент в невеликій кількості. Це особовий склад кількох передавальних вузлів зв’язку і аеродромна обслуга. Що стосується піхотних підрозділів, танкових підрозділів, тобто частин і підрозділів, які можуть створювати реальну військову загрозу для України, формування таких підрозділів зараз не виявлено», – заявив речник.
Ті війська, які раніше дислокувалися на території Білорусі були перекинуті на схід і південь України, розповів військовий.
«Їх перекидали на найбільш загрозливі напрямки на сході та півдні України. Росія використовувала білоруські полігони в якості тренувальних центрів, а склади і запаси білоруських Збройних сил – в якості донора для своїх збройних сил і формувань», – розповів Юрій Повх.
Білорусь не є безпосереднім учасником повномасштабної війни в Україні, але надає матеріально-технічну підтримку російському вторгненню, яке почалося 24 лютого, коли частина російських військ увійшла в Україну через білоруський кордон.
Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, imprisoned in Russia on espionage charges, was assaulted by a fellow inmate, his family said Tuesday, adding they fear he is a target because of his nationality.
The 53-year-old has been behind bars since 2018, serving a 16-year sentence that the U.S. government says is without merit.
On Tuesday afternoon he was “hit in the face” by a new prisoner, breaking his glasses, his brother David Whelan said in a statement.
He said the incident occurred in a clothing workshop in the Mordovia penal colony in central Russia.
Guards do not enter that part of the prison, and other inmates eventually came to Whelan’s aid, his brother said.
“Paul is a target because he is an American, and anti-American sentiment is not uncommon among the other prisoners,” he added.
“Paul says he believes the prison administration is taking the attack seriously.”
Whelan worked in security for a U.S. vehicle parts company when he was arrested in Moscow in 2018 and has always asserted that the evidence against him was falsified.
Russia and the United States each accuse the other of detaining each other’s nationals for political purposes.
A Moscow court on Tuesday said it had extended until January the detention of U.S. reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested in Russia earlier this year on spying charges.
A series of prisoner exchanges have been arranged in recent years.
Pope Francis has stripped conservative American Cardinal Raymond Burke of some of his Vatican privileges, including a large, subsidized apartment and his salary, a senior Vatican official said on Tuesday.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, participated in a regular Vatican meeting when the pope made the announcement to senior aides last week.
He quoted the pope as saying that Burke, one of his fiercest critics, was “working against the church and against the papacy” and that he had sown “disunity” in the church.
Burke has had no senior Vatican job for years. He is a consultant to one of its tribunals, as are numerous cardinals who live outside Rome, and spends most of his time in his native state of Wisconsin.
The official who was at the meeting denied media reports that Francis had called the 75-year-old Burke “an enemy.”
Burke is a hero to traditionalists in the church, particularly in the United States, where he is often a guest on conservative Catholic media outlets that have made criticism of the pope a mainstay of their operations.
The move by Francis was his second involving a conservative American prelate this month.
On November 11, the pope dismissed Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, a conservative critic, after Strickland refused to step down following a Vatican investigation.
While conservatives are a minority in the church, they have significant clout in advanced countries such as the United States, in part because of their link to conservative politics.
Burke has been opposing the pope’s reforms almost from the start.
In 2014, a year after Francis was chosen, the pope removed Burke as head of a Vatican tribunal and moved him to a largely ceremonial post several days after Burke said the church under Francis was “like a ship without a rudder.”
Most recently, in October, Burke was one of five cardinals who openly challenged a global monthlong Vatican meeting, known as a synod.
Before the meeting began, Burke was the star guest of a gathering of conservatives in a theater just a few blocks from the Vatican.
There, he called for a defense against the “the poison of confusion, error and division” in the church.
A person close to Burke said the cardinal had not yet been officially informed of the pope’s decision, which was first reported by the conservative Italian outlet, La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana.
Кріш’яніс Каріньш заявив, що НАТО потрібен лідер, який «може працювати з усіма союзниками, щоб просувати всіх вперед в одному напрямку»
U.S. lawmakers are racing to reach a deal on billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine and Israel before the holiday break. VOA’s Congressional Correspondent Katherine Gypson has more.
The head of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is calling on the U.S. government to do more to help secure the release of one of the outlet’s journalists, who is detained in Russia.
Speaking about Alsu Kurmasheva’s case in Washington on Monday, Jeffrey Gedmin, RFE/RL acting president, said the State Department had been “opaque” in how it is responding to the journalist’s detention.
Russian authorities detained Kurmasheva in mid-October on charges of failing to register as a “foreign agent.” She and her employer reject the accusation.
At the top of RFE/RL’s requests is for the State Department to declare Kurmasheva wrongfully detained. The designation would open up additional resources to help secure her release, the network says.
But at a Monday event at the National Press Club in Washington, Gedmin said he doesn’t know the status of that potential determination.
“Up until this point, the U.S. government has been conspicuously impartial, and we’re looking for any kind of support we can get,” Gedmin said. “For us, at this moment, it’s really quite opaque.”
Request for consular access denied
Like VOA, RFE/RL is funded by the U.S. Congress but is editorially independent.
Gedmin said being funded by Congress hasn’t made it any easier to work with Washington on Kurmasheva’s case.
“I haven’t seen the benefit yet,” Gedmin said.
When asked if Kurmasheva will be designated “wrongfully detained,” a State Department spokesperson said that it “continuously reviews the circumstances surrounding the detentions of U.S. nationals overseas, including those in Russia, for indicators that they are wrongful.”
When making those assessments, “the department conducts a legal, fact-based review that looks at the totality of the circumstances for each case individually,” a spokesperson said via email.
The spokesperson added that the request for consular access to Kurmasheva was denied on November 15 and that the State Department is closely monitoring her case.
“We remain deeply concerned about the extension of Kurmasheva’s pre-trial detention,” the spokesperson added.
Based in Prague, Kurmasheva is an editor at RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir Service. The U.S.-Russian national traveled to Russia in May for a family emergency.
Her passports were confiscated when she tried to leave in June, and she was waiting for those documents to be returned when authorities took her into custody in October.
Russia’s Justice Ministry in 2017 declared RFE/RL a foreign agent. More than 30 RFE/RL journalists have since been designated individual foreign agents, but Kurmasheva is not among those.
Kurmasheva’s detention has been particularly hard on her family.
“For me, Alsu is not a news story. It’s much more than that. It’s something that our family lives with every day,” her husband, Pavel Butorin, said at the National Press Club.
Butorin is the director of Current Time TV, a Russian-language TV and digital network led by RFE/RL in partnership with VOA.
“Every day, all day long, morning to evening, when I go to bed, when I get up, I have the same thought: ‘Am I doing enough for her release?'” Butorin said. “The more noise we make about Alsu’s case, the better it is.”
Press freedom groups have also called on the U.S. government to declare Kurmasheva wrongfully detained.
“As an American journalist targeted for her work, Kurmasheva deserves nothing less than the full weight of her government working to secure her release,” Clayton Weimers, executive director of the U.S. bureau of Reporters Without Borders, said in a statement.
Kurmasheva is one of two American journalists currently jailed in Russia. Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich has been jailed since March on espionage charges that he, his employer and the U.S. government deny.
The State Department has declared Gershkovich wrongfully detained.
“To me, they’re both journalists who have been grabbed by the Russians for leverage over the United States,” said Paul Beckett, an assistant editor at the Wall Street Journal, who is leading the newspaper’s campaign to secure Gershkovich’s release.
A Russian court on Tuesday extended Gershkovich’s pre-trial detention until January 30, 2024. Originally set to expire in May, Gershkovich’s pre-trial detention has been extended three times.
“Evan has now been unjustly imprisoned for nearly 250 days, and every day is a day too long,” The Wall Street Journal said in a statement about this latest development.
“The accusations against him are categorically false and his continued imprisonment is a brazen and outrageous attack on a free press, which is critical for a free society. We continue to stand with Evan and call for his immediate release,” the statement said.
«Час від часу з’являється лідер, який одноосібно змінює хід історії, не завдяки могутності своєї армії чи силі своєї економіки, а завдяки силі свого слова», – пише Politico
Greek officials said Tuesday that they will continue talks with the British Museum about bringing the Parthenon Marbles back to Athens, despite U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak abruptly canceling a meeting with his Greek counterpart where the contested antiquities were due to be discussed.
But the U.K. government said ownership of the marbles is “settled” — and they’re British.
The two European allies traded barbs Tuesday in a deepening diplomatic row that erupted when Sunak called off a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hours before it was due to take place.
Mitsotakis had planned to raise Greece’s decades-old demand for the return of the ancient sculptures when he met Sunak at 10 Downing Street on Tuesday. The two center-right leaders were also slated to talk about migration, climate change, and the wars in Gaza and Ukraine.
Mitsotakis was instead offered a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden, which he declined.
British officials were annoyed that Mitsotakis had appeared on British television Sunday and compared the removal of the sculptures from Athens to cutting the Mona Lisa in half.
Sunak’s spokesman, Max Blain, said Mitsotakis had reneged on a promise not to talk publicly about the marbles during his three-day visit to Britain.
“The Greek government provided reassurances that they would not use the visit as a public platform to relitigate long-settled matters relating to the ownership of the Parthenon sculptures,” he said. “Given those assurances were not adhered to, the prime minister felt it would not be productive” to have the meeting.
The Greek government denied Mitsotakis had agreed not to raise the subject in public.
Mitsotakis met Monday in London with U.K. opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, whose party leads Sunak’s governing Conservatives in opinion polls. The prime minister’s office denied that meting had contributed to Sunak’s decision to cancel.
Dimitris Tsiodras, head of the Greek prime minister’s press office, said Mitsotakis was angry at the “British misstep.”
“Of course he was angry. … Look, Greece is a proud country. It has a long history. Mitsotakis represents that country,” Tsiodras told private network Mega television.
Opposition parties in Greece, from the Greek Communist Party and centrists to far-right nationalists, also condemned Sunak for the cancellation. Left-wing opposition leader Stefanos Kasselakis said the issue of the sculptures goes “beyond party differences.”
“It is a national issue that concerns the history of an entire people. And it is a moral issue concerning the shameless theft of cultural wealth from its natural setting,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Athens has long demanded the return of sculptures that were removed from Greece by British diplomat Lord Elgin in the early 19th century. Part of friezes that adorned the 2,500-year-old Parthenon temple on the Acropolis, the Elgin Marbles — as they are known in Britain — have been displayed at the British Museum in London for more than two centuries. The remainder of the friezes are in a purpose-built museum in Athens.
The British Museum is banned by law from giving the sculptures back to Greece, but its leaders have held talks with Greek officials about a compromise, such as a long-term loan.
Earlier this year, museum chairman George Osborne — Treasury chief in a previous Conservative U.K. government — said the discussions had been “constructive.”
Tsiodras said Tuesday that discussions “are ongoing with the British Museum for the return — I should say the reunification — of the marbles to Athens.”
“I don’t think the effort stops there,” he said. “Clearly, there are domestic reasons and 2024 is an election year and (Sunak) is quite behind in the polls … but the discussion with the British Museum is ongoing.”
Sunak’s government appears to have hardened its position, however.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said that “the government set out its position about the Elgin Marbles very clearly, which is they should stay as part of the permanent collection of the British Museum.”
And Blain said that “a loan cannot happen without the Greeks accepting that the British Museum are the legal owners” of the antiquities.
«Ми готуємо, зокрема, хороші далекобійні речі, щоб окупанти відчували українську силу»
«Попри скромність наступу, цей прогрес, ймовірно, є одним із найбільших досягнень Росії з весни 2023 року. Це коштувало залученим підрозділам тисяч жертв»
A new America House is celebrating its opening in Odesa, making it the third major cultural and educational center in Ukraine supported and financed by the U.S. Embassy. America House Odesa was supposed to open in early 2022, but Russia’s invasion changed those plans. Anna Kosstutschenko visited the center and found out how the war altered its program. Camera — Pavel Suhodolskiy.
Ukraine’s military said Tuesday that Russian forces carried out aerial attacks overnight, including firing a missile that struck the Zaporizhzhia region.
Zaporizhzhia’s regional military administration said on Telegram that according to preliminary reports, the missile damaged a shop and injured one person.
The Ukrainian military also said Tuesday its air defenses destroyed a Russian attack drone.
In Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday there has been intense fighting along the frontlines in Ukraine, along with waves of Russian drone attacks against Ukrainian cities.
Stoltenberg said that while the front lines in Ukraine have not moved much during the past year, Ukrainian forces have inflicted heavy losses on Russia’s military.
Speaking ahead of a two-day meeting with NATO foreign ministers, Stoltenberg called for NATO allies to continue providing support for Ukraine.
He said the stronger Ukraine is on the battlefield, the stronger its position will be at the negotiating table with Russia.
Russian defense spending
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a national budget for the next three years that increases spending by around 25% and reportedly devotes a robust amount to defense as Russia’s war in Ukraine drags on.
The budget foresees spending in 2024 of $415 billion with an expected deficit of $9.5 billion.
After the budget was passed by the lower house of the parliament, Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said it was developed specifically to fund the military and to mitigate the impact of international sanctions imposed on Russia after its Ukraine invasion in February 2022.
Record low unemployment, higher wages and targeted social spending should help the Kremlin use most of its budget to fund the military, but could present a problem in the long term, analysts say.
Part of the Russian budget is secret as the Kremlin tries to conceal its military plans and sidestep scrutiny of its military operation in Ukraine. However, it is estimated that around 39% of all federal spending will go to the military and law enforcement according to independent business journalists Farida Rustamova and Maksim Tovkaylo.
While on a visit to Kyiv on Monday, EU Commission Vice President Vera Jourova praised Ukraine’s fight against corruption, but said additional efforts were needed if Ukraine aspires to become a member of the European Union.
In November, the commission recommended that the 27-member EU formally start accession talks once Ukraine meets several remaining conditions, including strengthening anti-corruption efforts.
Jourova said she was impressed with Ukraine’s improvement since 2017. However, she added there are still things that need to be done.
She also stressed that the EU needed “to think about our absorption capacity” when it comes to new members’ accession and adapt the system.
Membership talks take years as candidates must meet extensive legal and economic criteria before joining. The EU is also unwilling to take in a country that is at war.
Some information for this story came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday he is confident the United States will continue to provide support for Ukraine amid divisions among U.S. lawmakers about approving more funding for the Ukraine war effort.
Speaking to reporters before the start of two days of talks with NATO foreign ministers in Brussels, Stoltenberg lauded what he called the unprecedented military support NATO allies have provided to Ukraine in response to Russia’s invasion.
“The challenge now is that we need to sustain that support,” Stoltenberg said.
He described supporting Ukraine as NATO’s obligation, saying that a Russian victory in Ukraine would be both a “tragedy for Ukrainians” and dangerous to NATO members.
Stoltenberg was due to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken before the start of the ministerial meeting.
A senior U.S. State Department official said ahead of the NATO talks that the United States is joining NATO members in renewing the alliance’s “steadfast commitment” to Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression.
Wednesday, Blinken will lead the U.S. delegation to NATO member North Macedonia which is hosting a meeting of foreign ministers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe or OSCE in its capital Skopje later this week.
The United States is hosting the next NATO summit in Washington from July 9 to 11, 2024.
Blinken will discuss priorities for the Washington meeting with his counterparts as the alliance celebrates its 75th anniversary next year.
NATO-Ukraine Council foreign ministers
The chief U.S. diplomat is also set to attend the first foreign minister-level meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council as Kyiv aspires to be a NATO member.
“The Council supports Ukraine’s close partnership with NATO,” said Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Jim O’Brien. “Allies will continue to support Ukraine’s self-defense until Russia stops its war of aggression,” he added.
The NATO-Ukraine Council was inaugurated at the NATO Summit in Vilnius on July 12, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other heads of member governments also in attendance.
It convened for the second time in late July to discuss Black Sea security following Russia’s withdrawal from a deal overseeing grain exports from Ukrainian ports.
The third meeting was held in October to discuss substantial assistance to Ukraine and to ensure Ukraine’s forces are fully interoperable with NATO.
The NATO-Ukraine Council is the joint body where Allies and Ukraine sit as equal participants to advance political dialogue.
One of the sessions at this week’s NATO foreign ministers’ meeting is to address security and democracy in the Western Balkans.
“A stable, prosperous future for the Western Balkans must be based on good governance, rule of law, multi-ethnic democracy, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” O’Brien said.
NATO officials have affirmed the alliance’s commitment to maintaining a safe and secure environment while contributing to broader stability in the Western Balkans.
The statement came in response to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s earlier warning this month, in which he conveyed information suggesting that Russia has a plan for the destabilization of the Balkans.
Speaking on Nov. 21 in Skopje, North Macedonia, during the final stop of a tour of the Western Balkans, NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg stated that the alliance closely monitors Russia’s activities in the region. But he said there is currently no perceived military threat to any NATO member in the area.
North Macedonia, OSCE
After the government of North Macedonia announced that it would briefly lift a flight ban and permit the plane carrying Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to land in Skopje for the OSCE ministerial, Lavrov said on Monday he would attend the OSCE foreign ministers meeting in North Macedonia if Bulgaria opened its air space to the Russian delegation.
North Macedonia’s sanctions will remain in place against Russia for all other flights.
Most European countries banned flights from Russia after its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
O’Brien declined to comment on whether there will be any interaction between Lavrov, should he attend the OSCE ministerial, and the U.S. delegation but told VOA during a phone briefing that U.S. Secretary of State Blinken will “have a good discussion with” OSCE counterparts about U.S. “support for Ukraine.”
Some information for this story came from Reuters.
Лефортовський районний суд Москви продовжив на два місяці, до 30 січня 2024 року, арешт журналісту американського видання The Wall Street Journal Евану Гершковичу, звинуваченому в зборі даних із категорії «держтаємниця», повідомила пресслужба московських судів загальної юрисдикції.
Загалом Гершкович проведе під арештом 10 місяців.
24 серпня Лефортовський райсуд Москви продовжив на три місяці, до 30 листопада, арешт Гершковичу, якого утримують в московському СІЗО «Лефортово».
Сторона захисту Гершковича раніше заявила, що він не визнає провини.
29 березня 2023 року Гершковича заарештували в Єкатеринбурзі за звинуваченням у шпигунстві. Це стало першим із 1986 року випадком арешту американського журналіста в Росії за таким звинуваченням. Покарання за цей злочин передбачає позбавлення волі терміном до 20 років.
Раніше Держдепартамент США оголосив Гершковича «неправомірно затриманим», що дає підстави відомству діяти на користь звільнення громадянина США.
Російське слідство стверджує, що Гершкович збирав на замовлення США секретні дані про одне із підприємств військово-промислового комплексу.
Еван Гершкович близько шести років живе у Москві, висвітлюючи події в Росії та Україні для американської газети The Wall Street Journal. Раніше він працював у Agency France-Presse, The Moscow Times та The New York Times. Останню статтю за авторством Гершковича The Wall Street Journal опублікувала 28 березня.
Вищий антикорупційний суд обрав запобіжний захід два місяці під вартою з правом внесення застави у розмірі 40 мільйонів гривень для народного депутата групи «За майбутнє» Сергія Лабазюка з Хмельниччини. Його підозрюють у підкупі держслужбовців. Про це із зали суду передає кореспондент Радіо Свобода.
Прокурори клопотали про взяття під варту нардепа на два місяці із заставою у 100 мільйонів гривень. Водночас адвокат і сам Лабазюк наполягають, що для арешту немає підстав.
«Я найбільше, швидше за все, у цій залі зацікавлений, щоб якомога швидше встановити справедливість і об’єктивність. Я запевняю вас, що я обов’язково буду приїжджати на усі засідання. Прошу об’єктивного рішення для того, щоб я зміг продовжити свою (депутатську – ред.) діяльність», – сказав Сергій Лабазюк у суді під час обрання запобіжного заходу.
Також він додав, що ще не вирішив, чи буде вносити заставу. 40 мільйонів, каже, зараз не має, однак схиляється до того, щоб внести заставу – гроші планує позичити.
НАБУ і САП 21 листопада повідомили про підозру народному депутату і «його спільнику» – керівнику приватної компанії. Прізвище не називала, але колеги депутата по парламенту підтвердили Радіо Свобода, що йдеться про члена групи «За майбутнє» Сергія Лабазюка. За даними слідства, народний депутат і його спільники намагалися підкупити віцепрем’єр-міністра з відновлення України – міністра розвитку громад, територій та інфраструктури Олександра Кубракова, а також голову Держагентства відновлення та розвитку інфраструктури Мустафу Найєма.
Як стверджують у НАБУ, у серпні 2023 року депутат звернувся до топпосадовців Міністерства відновлення з проханням надати його компанії підряди з відбудови інфраструктурних об’єктів на один мільярд гривень, за це пообіцяв винагороду у розмірі 3-5% від вартості кожного підряду.
Слідчі стверджують, що після надходження 50 мільйонів гривень за підряд із відновлення зруйнованого мосту в одному з регіонів України народний депутат через довірену особу надав високопосадовцю Держагентства відновлення обіцяний відсоток у сумі 150 тисяч доларів. Передача грошей відбулася на паркінгу одного зі столичних супермаркетів, а гроші були у китайській шкатулці, повідомили в НАБУ.your ad here
Grain thunders into rail cars and trucks zip around a storage facility in central Ukraine, a place that growing numbers of companies turned to as they struggled to export their food to people facing hunger around the world.
Now, more of the grain is getting unloaded from overcrammed silos and heading to ports on the Black Sea, set to traverse a fledgling shipping corridor launched after Russia pulled out of a U.N.-brokered agreement this summer that allowed food to flow safely from Ukraine during the war.
“It was tight, but we kept working … we sought how to accept every ton of products needed for our partners,” facility general director Roman Andreikiv said about the end of the grain deal in July. Ukraine’s new corridor, protected by the military, has now allowed him to “free up warehouse space and increase activity.”
Growing numbers of ships are streaming toward Ukraine’s Black Sea ports and heading out loaded with grain, metals and other cargo despite the threat of attack and floating explosive mines. It’s giving a boost to Ukraine’s agriculture-dependent economy and bringing back a key source of wheat, corn, barley, sunflower oil and other affordable food products for parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia where local prices have risen and food insecurity is growing.
“We are seeing renewed confidence among commercial operators keen to take Ukrainian grain cargoes,” said Munro Anderson, head of operations for Vessel Protect, which assesses war risks at sea and provides insurance with backing from Lloyd’s, whose members make up the world’s largest insurance marketplace.
Ihor Osmachko, general director of Agroprosperis Group, one of Ukraine’s biggest agricultural producers and exporters, says he’s feeling “more optimistic than two months ago.”
“At that time, it was completely unclear how to survive,” he said.
Since the company’s first vessel departed in mid-September, it says it has shipped more than 300,000 metric tons of grain to Egypt, Spain, China, Bangladesh, the Netherlands, Tunisia and Turkey.
After ending the agreement brokered by the U.N. and Turkey, Russia has attacked Ukraine’s Black Sea ports — a vital connection to global trade — and grain infrastructure, destroying enough food to feed over 1 million people for a year, the U.K. government said.
The risk to vessels is the main hurdle for the new shipping corridor. Russia, whose officials haven’t commented on the corridor, warned this summer that ships heading to Ukraine’s Black Sea ports would be assumed to be carrying weapons.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that allies had agreed to provide ships to help his country protect commercial vessels in the Black Sea but that more air defense systems were needed.
“Air defense is in short supply,” he told reporters Saturday at an international food security summit in Kyiv. “But what’s important is that we have agreements, we have a positive signal, and the corridor is operational.”
While a deadly missile strike on the port of Odesa hit a Liberian-flagged commercial ship this month, not long afterward, insurers, brokers and banks teamed up with the Ukrainian government to announce affordable coverage for Black Sea grain shipments, offering shippers peace of mind.
Despite such attacks, Ukraine has exported over 5.6 million metric tons of grain and other products through the new corridor, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink tweeted Friday. Before the war, it was nearly double that per month, Ukrainian Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka said.
“The way that they’re transporting right now, it’s certainly much more expensive and time consuming,” said Kelly Goughary, a senior research analyst at agriculture data and analytics firm Gro Intelligence.
“But they are getting product out the door, which is better than I think many were anticipating with the grain initiative coming to an end,” she said.
«Дуже і дуже високий рівень пріоритетності. В обох випадках часу стає все менше й менше», – сказав Джон Кірбі