Ukraine has inched closer to finalising a deal with global insurance companies to offer coverage for grain ships travelling to and from its Black Sea ports, according to the Financial Times.

The country will provide a safe corridor for exports following Russia’s pulling out of a deal supported by the United Nations (UN) in July.

Ukraine’s Deputy Economy Minister Oleksandr Gryban was quoted by the publication as saying that the deal was “currently being pursued and actively discussed” between the respective ministries, domestic banks and global insurers, including Lloyd’s of London.

The scheme is anticipated to be launched in September with nearly five to 30 ships obtaining coverage to travel through this route.

Gryban said: “It depends on how the structure goes and what the level of risk-sharing is going to be between the government and private insurance companies.”

Earlier this month, the Hong Kong-flagged container ship Joseph Schulte became the first vessel to start moving along the corridor intended for civilian vessels to/from Black Sea seaports, a government release noted.

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In June 2023, the Ukrainian Government granted approval for a system that offers compensations for losses incurred by vessels “due to the armed aggression of the Russian Federation”.

The government has also allocated up to Hrv20bn ($550m) for attracting ship owners to Ukrainian ports.