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Cargo handling in Danube ports almost quadruples in April vs Feb – Infrastructure Ministry

KYIV. May 6 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Cargo transshipment in the Danube ports (Ust-Danube, Izmail and Reni), which are the only ones now operating in the usual mode, increased almost four times in April compared to February of this year, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Yuriy Vaskov has said.

"In April, we processed about 850,000 tonnes for export and import, of which 450,000 tonnes are agricultural goods, but compared to peacetime, this is somewhere up to 15% of the total trade turnover," he said during briefing at the Ukraine Media Center on Friday.

At the same time, the Ministry believes that transshipment in the Danube ports will be increased to 1 million tonnes per month.

"If we talk about numbers and opportunities, then in peacetime more than 75% of the external trade turnover of the state took place through sea routes. More than 90% of the total trade turnover passed through ports that are either closed or blocked by military aggression today. That is, the opportunities that now exist and are not limited are the ports of the Danube River. They can ensure export or import of no more than 10% of the turnover, which was in peacetime and was handled by all commercial sea ports," Vaskov added.

According to him, the Dnipro River today also cannot be involved in logistics, since the Kakhovka lock has been captured.

To date, the seaports Mariupol, Berdiansk, Skadovsk and Kherson, which are located in the temporarily occupied territory, have been closed. Ports Pivdenny, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Chornomorsk and Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky work exclusively with cargo and fleet, which, as of February 24, was already under processing (by 20% compared to peacetime).