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De-Mining Ukraine’s Ports May Take Months, UN Agency Says

  • Millions of tons of grain are stuck in ports in Ukraine
  • Negotiations to reopen ports are showing no signs of progress
The Izmailskaya hopper barge moored at the Izmail Sea Commercial Port in the waters of the Kiliia River estuary of the Danube in Izmail, Ukraine, on May 7.
The Izmailskaya hopper barge moored at the Izmail Sea Commercial Port in the waters of the Kiliia River estuary of the Danube in Izmail, Ukraine, on May 7.Photographer: Andrei Pungovschi/Bloomberg
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Removing sea mines near Ukraine’s key ports could take months, and hundreds of seafarers are still stranded in the region following Russia’s invasion of the country, according to the United Nations agency responsible for shipping safety.

“Even if the ports wanted to reopen tomorrow it would take some time until ships could enter or depart,” Peter Adams, special adviser on marine security at the International Maritime Organization, said in an interview. “Completely removing sea mines in the port areas would take several months.”