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:
- Thwarting Russian troop landings.
- Creating a 100 nautical mile buffer zone, facilitated by the destruction of the Russian missile cruiser Moskva.
- 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.