One month ago, Russia announced its withdrawal from the grain agreement. In response, Ukraine demonstrated its military capabilities by implementing a mirror military response, facilitated by the Ministry of Infrastructure, that opened a sea transport corridor. This development, proves Ukraine's ability to unblock its own ports, said the Ukrainian Center for Transport Strategies (CTS).
"The withdrawal of Russia from the grain agreement has revealed a new reality: Ukraine has taken an active stance and demonstrated that it is not only a maritime state in name, but also in action. We have transitioned from abiding by imposed rules to establishing our own, and the specific military actions have shown that Moscow can no longer assert its dominance solely based on its position of strength in the Black Sea," emphasized experts at the Center.
The CTS underscores several significant events that have taken place over the past month. Firstly, there was the military response and attacks on Russian ships, including the targeting of the landing ship "Olenegorsky Gornyak" near Novorossiysk, followed by an attack on a tanker named Sig flying the Russian flag.
"With these actions, Ukraine has demonstrated that the Black Sea is not solely under Russia's control. By possessing naval drones worth tens of thousands of dollars in our arsenal, we can exert significant pressure on the economy of the aggressor country. Following the attacks on Russian vessels, the cost of insurance for them has increased significantly," noted the Center.
Secondly, there have been extensive diplomatic discussions regarding a new security architecture in the Black Sea, with influential global politicians, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, participating in the dialogue. Thirdly, the efforts of the Ministry of Infrastructure resulted in the opening of a new sea corridor.
The establishment of a temporary ship corridor to allow ships to exit Ukrainian ports is a logical continuation of the first two measures. The container ship JOSEPH SCHULTE has already departed from the port of Odessa. Deputy Prime Minister for the Reconstruction of Ukraine and Minister of Development of Communities, Territories, and Infrastructure of Ukraine, Oleksandr Kubrakov, announced that this temporary corridor would be utilized to allow exit for the ships docked in Ukrainian ports of Chernomorsk, Odessa, and Yuzhny at the time of the full-scale invasion by the Russian Federation. However, it does not imply that other ships will be prohibited from leaving. "Regardless, the crucial aspect is that we will be the ones making the decisions," experts emphasized.
Undoubtedly, various issues still persist, as highlighted by the CTS. The primary concern at present is the need for military defense of the port infrastructure, which has experienced missile and drone attacks throughout the month.
"Nevertheless, the significant achievement is that Ukraine has demonstrated its capability to be a maritime state. No external agreements can dictate decisions contrary to our geopolitical interests," concluded the CTS.