War in Ukraine: EU foreign ministers in kyiv, bombings in Kherson… update on the situation

Every day, Midi Libre takes stock of the situation in Ukraine. This Monday, October 2, 2023, discover the latest news around this conflict.

Ukraine-Strong drop in freight costs with maritime grain corridor-minister

The new sea corridor allowing cargo ships to transport Ukrainian grain and iron ore from Black Sea ports has significantly reduced freight costs, and they are likely to fall further, Ukraine’s minister of defense said on Monday. Agriculture.

Kieva set up a temporary “humanitarian corridor” in August to allow agricultural exports to the Black Sea. Indeed, Russia has threatened to treat all ships as potential military targets since it withdrew last month from the United Nations (UN)-backed grain deal.

“New ships are coming. In the near future, every farmer will be able to feel that the logistics related to this route should become cheaper and, therefore, the profit margin for grain will increase,” assured Minister of Agriculture Mykola Solsky on national television.

Several cargo ships used the new route in September, delivering grain and iron ore to the global market. Three additional cargo ships left Ukrainian seaports on Sunday, while five new ships arrived for loading. “The first (ships) have left.

It was expensive. The following ones are cheaper. I think freight has become 30-40% cheaper in the last two or three weeks. It’s still expensive, but it’s much cheaper than before,” said Mykola Solsky. He did not give exact figures.

Ukraine is expected to harvest 79 million tonnes of grains and oilseeds in 2023, with an exportable surplus of around 50 million tonnes in 2023/24. Insurance broker Miller said last month that a new maritime insurance mechanism for Ukrainian grain exports using the country’s new sea corridor had been established.

EU foreign ministers in kyiv to reaffirm support

Foreign ministers from European Union (EU) member countries met in Kiev on Monday, their first meeting outside the borders of the European bloc, in a show of support for Ukraine facing an apparent crumbling of peace. international support.

In Slovakia, the candidate described as pro-Russian Robert Fico won the legislative elections on Sunday while in the United States, the American Congress did not vote on an aid package for Ukraine as part of the draft provisional financing law. “We are holding a historic meeting of EU foreign ministers here in Ukraine, a candidate country and future EU member,” said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell on X ( formerly Twitter).

“We are here to express our solidarity and support for the Ukrainian people.” Present in Kyiv, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, indicated that this “exceptional” meeting aimed to “mark our resolute support for Ukraine”, she wrote on X. According to the Quai d’Orsay , France intends to emphasize during the meeting the importance of defining the parameters of lasting support, particularly at the military level, based on Ukraine’s needs.

She also intends to call for progress in establishing European support for reforms and the reconstruction of Ukraine to support the country’s prospect of accession to the EU. The meeting of EU ministers in Kyiv comes as the summer draws to a close without significant progress having been recorded in the vast Ukrainian counter-offensive launched in the spring, despite military support from Western allies.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called for efforts to prepare Ukraine for the upcoming winter season, particularly in terms of air defense and ensuring energy supplies while Russia has targeted energy infrastructure of Ukraine last winter.

“Last winter we saw the brutal way the Russian president is waging this war,” she said. “We need to prevent this with everything we have, wherever possible.”

One dead, six injured in Russian bombings in Kherson

Russian bombings on the Kherson region in southern Ukraine have left at least one dead and six injured, including two children, the region’s governor said on Monday. Russian forces are believed to have launched 71 attacks in the past 24 hours, “targeting residential neighborhoods,” shops and medical facilities, among others, Oleksander Prokudin said on the Telegram messaging app.

Twenty of the air and ground attacks were believed to have targeted the city of Kherson, the governor added. A fire started by artillery fire early Monday was reportedly quickly extinguished by authorities. Reuters was unable to independently verify this information.

Russia had no immediate comment. Kyiv expelled Russian forces from part of the Kherson region last November after several months of occupation, but Russian troops continued to bombard the regional capital and its surroundings from across the Dnieper River.

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