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Does grain or weapons pass through the Black Sea?

Зърно или оръжие минава през Черно море?
Recently, more and more of Ukraine's grain has been heading to Black Sea ports to cross the newly created shipping corridor launched after Russia pulled out of a deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations.

An increasing number of ships are moving to Ukraine's Black Sea ports and heading out loaded with grain, metals and other cargoes despite the threat of attack and floating explosive mines.

According to port director Roman Andreykov, this provides a boost to Ukraine's economy and returns the country to its position as a key source of wheat, corn, barley, sunflower oil and other foodstuffs for parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, where local prices have risen and food insecurity is increasing.

"We are seeing a renewed confidence among commercial operators willing to take on Ukrainian grain cargoes," said Munro Anderson, head of operations at Vessel Protect, which assesses military risks at sea and underwrites insurance backed by Lloyd's, whose members make up the largest insurance company in world market

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said allies had agreed to provide ships to help his country protect merchant shipping in the Black Sea, but more air defense systems were needed.

"Air defense is in short supply," he told reporters Saturday at an international summit on food security in Kyiv. "But the important thing is that we have agreements, we have a positive signal and the corridor is working.

But certainly the current situation is not so good. "The way they transport right now is certainly much more expensive and time-consuming," said Kelly Goughari, senior researcher at agricultural data and analytics company Gro Intelligence.

The presence of NATO ships in the Black Sea, escorting Ukrainian grain, led the Russian side to make serious accusations.

"Zelensky's statement shows that the militarization of Ukraine by the NATO countries does not stop for a minute, and all kinds of motives are used for this. The stated purpose of using naval ships to protect grain ships is an absolute cover for potential military adventures in the Black Sea by Kiev and its Western leaders," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing.

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