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Ukraine’s infrastructure minister unaware of alleged negotiations with Türkiye on safety of Black Sea civilian shipping

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Oleksandr Kubrakov. Stock photo: Kubrakov on Facebook

Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov has said that he is unaware of any negotiations that Ukraine has allegedly held with Türkiye on the safety of civilian shipping in the Black Sea.

Source: Kubrakov at Rebuilding Ukraine, an event organised by Ekonomichna Pravda 

Quote from Kubrakov: “It’s hard for me to comment on this because I don’t have any information on whether these talks took place.

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The last time we contacted the UN, I think, was in September 2023, when the Black Sea Grain Initiative came to an end.”

He added that when Ukraine had regained its territorial waters and launched its own corridor, and “a certain parity” had been established in the Black Sea, there was a “cautious proposal” from the UN to return to the civilian shipping rules that had been in place until early 2022. 

“Of course, everyone supports this, because we are returning to what we had before on our own terms, because of what we have won back. Our corridor is protected without any conditions, without any additional restrictions,” Kubrakov summed up. “So at that stage, they were supportive, but there has been no further communication with the UN.”

Previously:

  • Reuters has reported that Ukraine and Russia, together with Türkiye, have been negotiating for two months on an agreement on the safety of shipping in the Black Sea, which was to have been announced in late March. 
  • Between August 2022 and July 2023, the ports of Greater Odesa (Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Pivdennyi [Southern]) operated under the terms of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which meant that only agricultural products from Ukraine were exported, and all vessels were inspected. On 17 July, Russia withdrew from the agreement with Türkiye that guaranteed the operation of the grain corridor.
  • A month later, on 16 August, the first ship sailed through the new Ukrainian shipping corridor, which opened the three seaports for the transportation of all goods, not just grain. Later, Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure, said it was thanks to its military achievements, including significant damage to a Russian landing ship near Novorossiysk, that Ukraine had been able to reopen the sea. “Military parity in the Black Sea has not yet been established, but the situation is definitely not the same as it was six months ago,” Kubrakov said at the time.

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