The Azov Sea ports of Mariupol, Berdiansk, and Skadovsk and the Black Sea port of Kherson were closed “until the restoration of control,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The adoption of this measure is caused by the impossibility of servicing ships and passengers, carrying out cargo, transport, and other related economic activities, ensuring the appropriate level of safety of navigation,” it said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Monday Ukraine could lose tens of millions of tons of grain due to Russia’s control of Black Sea shipping, triggering a food crisis that will affect Europe, Asia, and Africa.
“Russia does not let ships come in or go out, it is controlling the Black Sea,” Zelenskiy told the Australian news program 60 Minutes.
“Russia wants to completely block our country’s economy.”
Russia calls its intervention in Ukraine a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists. Ukraine and the West say the fascist allegation is baseless and that the war is an unprovoked act of aggression.
The ministry said last week Ukraine’s grain exports had reached 45.709 million tons in the 2021-2022, July-June season.
It said the volume included 763,000 tons exported in April but gave no comparative figures. Senior agriculture officials said this month that Ukraine exported up 300,000 tons of grain in March. – Rappler.com