Shipment term

First shipment of Ukrainian grain since war ‘will arrive in UK in 10 days’

The first shipment of grain from Ukraine to the UK since the start of the war is expected to arrive in 10 days, Western officials have said.

Millions of tonnes of grain have been stuck in Ukraine since the Russian invasion just over six months ago.

A UN-brokered deal last month saw the first Ukrainian cargo allowed to travel this week, with the Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni carrying corn and entering the Bosphorus Strait bound for Lebanon on Wednesday.

Speaking of newly restored Ukrainian grain exports, a Western official said the Maltese-flagged Rojen was “due to arrive in the UK on August 14”.

“This will almost certainly be the first shipment from Ukraine to arrive in the UK since late February and the start of the invasion,” they said.

The bulk carrier is expected to travel from the port of Chornomorsk in Ukraine, where it is supposed to be moored and loaded, to the UK, but the official could not say which UK port should receive it.

However, according to the VesselFinder website, the vessel is expected to arrive at Teesport on August 17.

The cargo is ‘probably corn or grain’, the official said, adding: ‘What this shows is that there is – which people may not realize – a direct supply of agricultural products. to the UK from Ukraine”.

Addressing the first shipment to leave Ukraine since the deal, the official said: “It is almost certain that the success of its transit will result in more frequent transits.”

Although degraded to normal operating levels, it still works and operates efficiently

Western official on Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

“Clearing the backlog caused by the blockade in place since February will almost certainly remain a major logistical challenge,” they added.

But another Western official, when asked about the shipment, said there was little information available on when the ships would leave Ukraine and decisions were still being negotiated between the parties to the OK.

“At some point they will soon agree which ships will leave and when. We don’t have those details yet,” they said.

A Western official also played down fears over the state of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, located in the town of Enerhodar in southeastern Ukraine and currently owned by Russia.

We believe that Russia has not abandoned its maximalist goals for Ukraine

Western official

UN nuclear chief Rafael Grossi said on Wednesday that the Zaporizhzhia power station “is completely out of control”, and he issued an urgent appeal to Russia and Ukraine to quickly allow experts to visit the complex in order to stabilize the situation and avoid a nuclear accident.

“As far as the security of this site is concerned at the moment, although it is downgraded to normal operating levels, it is still functioning and operating effectively,” the Western official said, adding, “It is not ideal industrial conditions, but nevertheless I believe that the circumstances are better than depicted in the media.

“Nuclear power plants are designed to withstand terrorist attacks, including planes hitting reactors etc., so please don’t think we are seeing a Chernobyl-like situation. It’s not the case,” they added.

They said that Russia could use the site as a “safe area from which to carry out defensive operations”, but that while Ukraine will “consider very carefully how to avoid taking major risks around the site”, this should not prevent a Ukrainian advance.

The official also questioned Russia’s explanation for a deadly incident at a prison housing prisoners of war in the breakaway region of eastern Ukraine.

Russia has claimed that the Ukrainian military used US-supplied rocket launchers to strike the prison in Olenivka, a settlement controlled by the Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic.

“We assess this is not an explosive attack from the outside, this is not a Himars (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System),” the Western official said, adding that it was “clear from photographic evidence, citing as an example an image showing bunk beds still standing, which otherwise “wouldn’t be.”

They added: “We think it’s more likely some kind of arsonist, some kind of implosion.”

Addressing the broader outlook for the war, the official said the battle had “slowed down”, and they estimate that up to 20,000 Russian soldiers were killed during the conflict.

They added: “We believe that Russia has not given up on its maximalist goals for Ukraine…militarily we wonder how they can achieve these goals in the short term.

“But what we need to understand better is that Russia is ready, I think, to operate for a much longer period of time than we usually think.”