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How is grain transported across the Black Sea?

Как се пренася зърно през Черно море?
Russia came out with a new batch of accusations against Ukraine and its allies. According to Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Mikhail Popov, mines planted by the Ukrainian military in the Black Sea were scattered by a recent storm and now pose a major threat to civilian shipping.

The Russian security official added that the storm hit the Black Sea region as US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba discussed the issue of resuming civilian shipping in the Black Sea.

"Washington and Kiev remain silent on the fact that their joint actions have turned the Black Sea into a very dangerous region for maritime navigation for years to come," Popov continued, adding that this will have a negative effect on the economy of all countries of the Black Sea basin.

Whether the accusations are justified remains open to question, but the facts show that incidents in the Black Sea have increased dramatically over the past year.

In the first half of the year, mines were discovered off the coasts of Romania and Bulgaria, as well as in the immediate vicinity of the Bosphorus Strait. After that, the number of sea mine incidents began to rise, including the explosion of an unknown mine off the coast of Batumi, Georgia in February 2023.

In July, a Russian warship discovered a floating mine 180 km from the Bosphorus. A ship was damaged by a mine off the coast of Romania in September. In October, a Turkish ship hit a mine in the Danube Delta. In November, a Liberian-flagged ship carrying Ukrainian grain from the port of Yuzhny was also damaged by a mine.

Difficult shipping has a direct impact on grain exports. Exports of Ukrainian grain since the beginning of the marketing year (July 2023-June 2024) were down 26.7% year-on-year as of Dec. 4, according to the website of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine.

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