Ukraine has exported about 13 million tonnes of products on some 400 ships since setting up a shipping corridor to fend off Russian threats, a government minister said Saturday.

Around 13 million tonnes of products have been exported through the Ukrainian corridor by 400 vessels to 24 countries since august 2023, Ukraine’s infrastructure minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said during the weekend.

Kyiv established the corridor to allow the shipping of critical commodities, especially grains, from its ports after Moscow in July pulled out the United Nations-backed Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Infrastructure Minister Kubrakov said he was “grateful” to Ukraine’s international partners “for ensuring the operation of the Corridor in conditions of military aggression”.

“Despite systematic attacks on the port infrastructure, ports accepted 430 vessels for loading through Ukrainian corridor,” he said.

Bridget Brink, the US ambassador to Ukraine, called the continued movement of cargo “a significant achievement as Ukraine continues to feed the world despite Russia’s daily and continuing attacks across the country.”

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Ukrainian exports of grain have been severely disrupted. For over four months, Russian military vessels blocked Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea.

Between July 2022 and July 2023, there was an agreement between the United Nations, Türkiye and Russia to allow exports via a safe maritime humanitarian corridor in the Black Sea (the Black Sea Grain Initiative).

Over 1000 ships full of grain and other foodstuffs left Ukraine from three Ukrainian ports (Chornomorsk, Odesa and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi) during the implementation of the initiative.

On 17 July 2023, Russia announced its decision to end the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

The EU is a major global producer and exporter of wheat. It is estimated that the EU exported 31 million tonnes of wheat in the marketing year 2022/23. Destination countries include Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan and Nigeria.