Ukraine’s Strategic Success in Restoring Maritime Trade

by Roman Cheplyk
Tuesday, January 30, 2024
Ukraine’s Strategic Success in Restoring Maritime Trade

Ukraine is successfully reviving its maritime trade, circumventing the Russian naval blockade and reinforcing its influence in the Black Sea, reports The Economist

The country has managed to almost reach its pre-war export levels through seaports, a move critical for its economy and laden with strategic risks.

Prior to Russia's full-scale invasion, Ukraine relied heavily on maritime routes, with 60% of its exports, particularly to African, Middle Eastern, and other regions, transported by sea. The Russian blockade was a significant economic assault, cutting off these vital economic pathways.

In response, Ukraine devised an alternative maritime route, carefully plotted to avoid deep waters where Russian submarines could pose a threat and staying close enough to the shore for protection by coastal artillery. Initially, ships operating along this route faced financial losses, but growing confidence in the route led to a substantial decrease in insurance costs, eventually turning profitable.

Navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk highlights the three key stages in Ukraine's maritime success:

  1. Thwarting Russian troop landings.
  2. Creating a 100 nautical mile buffer zone, facilitated by the destruction of the Russian missile cruiser Moskva.
  3. Pushing back the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

This maritime strategy not only enables Ukraine to export 1 million tons of grain from demined lands but also opens the door for more international cooperation in demining the Black Sea, further stabilizing and securing the region's maritime trade.

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