Western officials say it is sending the first shipment of Ukrainian grain to Britain since the start of the war, which is expected to arrive in 10 days.
Millions of tons of grain have been stuck in Ukraine since Russia invaded just six months ago.
A U.N.-brokered deal last month allowed the first Ukrainian shipment to be cleared for travel this week, with Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni corn entering the Bosphorus Strait via Lebanon on Wednesday. was
Speaking about newly established Ukrainian grain exports, a Western official said Malta-flagged rosin “is due to arrive in the UK on August 14”.
He said it would certainly be the first shipment from Ukraine to arrive in the UK since the end of February and the start of the attack.
The bulk carrier is expected to travel from the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk, where it is believed to be berthed and loaded, to the UK, but the official could not say which UK port it is expected to receive. .
However, according to the VesselFinder website, the vessel is scheduled to arrive at Teesport on August 17.
The cargo is “probably corn or grain”, the official added: “What this shows is that there is – which people probably don’t realize – a direct supply of agricultural produce from Ukraine to the UK”.
Speaking of the first shipment leaving Ukraine after the deal, the official said: “It is almost certain that the success of its transit will result in more frequent transits.”
Although it is degraded in terms of normal operating levels, it is still functioning and operating efficiently.
“Clearing the backlog caused by the blockade since February will almost certainly remain a major logistical challenge,” he added.
But another Western official, when asked about the shipment, said there was limited information available on when the ships would leave Ukraine, and that decisions were still being made between the parties to the agreement.
“At some point soon they will agree on which ships will depart and when. We don’t have those details yet,” he said.
A Western official also dismissed concerns about the state of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, located in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Enruder, and currently held by Russia.
We believe that Russia has not abandoned most of its goals for Ukraine.
UN nuclear chief Raphael Grossi said on Wednesday that the Zaporizhzhia power plant was “totally out of control”, and urged Russia and Ukraine to allow experts to visit the complex immediately. In order to stabilize the situation and avoid a nuclear accident.
“In terms of the safety of the site at this time, while it is degraded to normal operating levels, it is still operating and operating effectively,” the Western official added: “These are not ideal industrial conditions. But still I think the conditions are better than what is painted in the media.
“Nuclear power plants are designed to withstand terrorist attacks, including aircraft-killing reactors, so please don’t think we’re seeing a Chernobyl-like situation. That’s not the case,” he said. added.
He said Russia could use the site as a “safe zone” from which to launch defensive operations, but that, while Ukraine would “consider very carefully how the site is used.” There are major threats to be avoided”, it should not stop Ukraine’s advance.
The official also questioned Russia’s explanation for the deadly incident at a prisoner-of-war prison in the separatist region of eastern Ukraine.
Russia has claimed that the Ukrainian military used US-supplied rocket launchers to attack a prison in the town of Olynyukka, controlled by the Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic.
“We assess that this is not a high-explosive strike from outside, it is not a HIMARIS (high-mobility artillery rocket system),” the Western official said, adding that it was “clear” from photographic evidence, e.g. Bunk beds are still standing, referring to a photo that “wouldn’t have been” otherwise.
He added: “We think it’s more likely that it’s some kind of incendiary, some kind of slippage.”
Addressing a broader view of the war, the official said the war had “slowed down”, and estimated that 20,000 Russian soldiers had died during the conflict.
He added: “We believe that Russia has not given up most of its goals for Ukraine… Militarily we question how they can achieve those goals in the near term.
“But then what we need to understand better is that Russia is willing, I think, to work in the longer term than we generally think.”