UKRAINE – Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov has refuted reports by Ukrainian and British firms that the new Black Sea export corridor had been suspended.

This is after the Kyiv-based Barva Invest consultancy reported on October 25th that Ukraine has suspended the use of its new Black Sea grain corridor due to what it sees as a threat from Russian warplanes.

On his X (formerly known as Tweeter) account, Kubrakov said that the information regarding the cancellation or unscheduled stoppage of the temporary Ukrainian_corridor for the movement of civilian vessels from and to the ports of the Big Odesa (region) is false.

All available routes established by the Ukrainian Navy are valid and being used by civilian vessels,” the thread read.

Barva Invest, which specializes in Ukraine’s agriculture sector had earlier said that a de facto suspension had already been in place for two days at the behest of the military which cited a threat from increased Russian military aviation activity in the area.

“We would like to inform you of a temporary suspension of vessel traffic to and from (the ports). The current ban is in force on October 26, but it is possible that it will be extended,” the consultancy said on the Telegram messaging app.

This comes after Reuters reported that about 700,000 metric tons of grain have been exported through Ukraine’s new Black Sea export corridor since it began operating in August according to the Ukrainian agriculture minister

Ukraine launched a “humanitarian corridor” to release ships bound for African and Asian markets, and to circumvent a de facto blockade after Russia abandoned a deal this summer that had guaranteed its exports during the war.

“During the operation of the new corridor, 38 ships entered the ports and more than 30 left, not all of them with grain, of course,” the agriculture ministry quoted Mykola Solsky.

“However, we managed to export almost 700,000 tons of grain.”

Most exports are continuing to move via the Danube River via Romania. In September, 2.3 million tonnes of agricultural products were exported via the Danube Ports.

Overall, 3.6 million tonnes of agricultural products were exported in September, including road and rail routes.

Mykola Solskyi, Ukraine’s minister of agrarian policy and food, said at least 6 million tonnes needs to be exported per month. He said volume can only be ensured by restoring the full operation of the deep-water ports of Odesa.