Russia keeps repeating that they do not want to hinder the grain shipping in any way and that the port in Mariupol is safe to use. Why not to say, then, let's ship from Mariupol if that port is safe?

If Russia did start seizing ships, trains or grain, arresting crews, it would at least be possible to say who is responsible. Train engineers are not soldiers.

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    Speculation: It could have something to do with Russia having completely destroyed that city and Russia lying about the port being safe to use Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 10:00
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    If someone constantly lies at every occasion, what do you think how credible they are? There are ample risks for Ukraine to try to do this, and little to gain. Russia always has an agenda and tries to spin something.
    – Polygnome
    Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 10:21
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    Can you point to some place where Russia made this offer? Because I imagine there are other ports they control that are in better shape... The road and rail network to Mariupol was probably severely damaged in the fighting, even if the docks stand somehow. Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 13:00
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    Is it a serious question? Mariupol is fully destroyed, the whole region is controlled by the invador. How on hell do you imagine shipping anything throu? It's like asking why Jews haven't simply walked away from Auschwitz... Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 6:26
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    Looking at a map, much of Ukraine, including presumably much of the grain-producing region looks closer to the Polish Baltic port of Gdansk than it does to Mariupol. Is not the clear long-term solution to ship via the Baltic? Though there will undoubtedly be a substantial cost in the development of facilities at the front end.
    – WS2
    Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 16:22

5 Answers 5


Well, you have the answer in the story I've linked in your question:

Russia blames the situation on what it says are Ukrainian mines

So basically Ukraine shipping via Mariupol would be a tacit acceptance that the (larger) port of Odessa isn't functioning because of their own/Ukrainian fault, somehow, rather than the Russian navy.

Aside from that, the Russian offer doesn't appear to be entirely unconditional. At least they communicated something like that... via Turkey.

But Russia demanded that the Black Sea be demined and Turkey said allowing the Ukraine exports should be accompanied by easing Western sanctions against Russia.

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    I also found in the later news talks about sanction lifting appear again. This is obviously completely different conditions from "we just allow".
    – Stančikas
    Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 13:45
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    N.B. You watch the full video of the Russia MoD statement in that (first) story, they only talk about the rebuilt/reopened railways inside the Russian-controlled territory. Whether that's still reasonably connected with Ukrainian-controlled territory for the grain shipments to happen in quantity, apparently didn't enter into consideration. Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 15:00
  • There is no need to tacitly accept that the port(s) of Odessa are not functioning. Currently that's the stated view.
    – wrod
    Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 18:12

Ukraine and Russia are at war. When you are at war you try not to treat with the other party, especially with things like grain, since the other party can seize the grain for their own use. It would be like Russia exporting arms via Ukraine - foolhardy, to say the least.

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    If they seize the first shipment of the grain, this will make them responsible again. And it is possible to agree that, for instance, money from the grain go to some international account not to be used till the end of the war. But from the latest news Russia talks about lifting sanctions again that is not how it was initially presented.
    – Stančikas
    Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 13:48
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    @eee And then Russia will have a shipment of grain (maybe even the ship itself and its crew). Score: Russia 1, Ukraine 0. It wouldn't be the first time something that sneaky had been done. Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 16:35
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    @eee it is not that simple. There are not 2, but 4 countries at war now. The declared status of Peoples' republic of Donetzk and Peoples' republic of Lughansk is that Russia does not control them.
    – fraxinus
    Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 21:01
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    @user253751 Exactly. A stolen shipment of grain is worth plenty to Russia; Russia being held responsible for the theft is worth very little to Ukraine, considering all the things Russia is already being held responsible for.
    – MJD
    Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 23:54
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    @fraxinus Two countries, and two terrorist groups sponsored by one of those countries, which it likes to pretend are also countries, just to muddy the waters a whole lot. Don't fall for it. Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 11:27
  1. Russia is lying
  2. Russia destroyed Mariupol
  3. Mariupol is not used for grain export; the main grain export city in Ukraine is Mykolaiv
  4. Russia destroyed a huge grain export facility in Mykolaiv a week ago with a missile strike
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    The main harbor in Ukraine is Odessa, not Nikolev.
    – convert
    Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 17:29
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    @convert The answer doesn't say that Mykolaiv is Ukraine's main harbor, it says it's Ukraine's "main grain export city".
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 18:19

Because Mariupol is currently temporarily occupied by the invading forces of the Russian Federation.

The Russian Federation is known to be engaged in an atrocious war against Ukraine, in violation of numerous treaties which RF is a party to as well as in violation of some of RF's own laws.

During this war RF has violated numerous agreements and has not abided by terms of humanitarian corridors to which it agreed.

RF has also engaged in acts of theft of resources such as lumber, grain, and sheet metal.

Given these factors in their totality, it would be patently absurd to trust that any Ukrainian resources arriving to Mariupol, or any Ukrainian ships waiting to load those resources, would not be subjected to acts of war by the Russian military.


Unfortunately, things are much more complicated.

First, you should memorize, sea port is much more cargo capable than any sort of land transport.

To be exact, few Ukrainian sea ports, made more than TEN times more export/import in natural measures, than now working land transport facilities on EU border.

Second, Russian invade begins not in 2022, but much earlier - in 2014, but it is named "Anti-Terrorist operation", by Poroshenko government.

And during these years, Russia lot of times sent so named "humanitarian convoys", without Ukrainian and/or UN observers and border checks, even when constantly used railway to transport armored vehicles and weapons (so technically could send really peaceful convoys).

So, what Russia really want to do, to open large cargo port to steal Ukrainian goods and in other side, to transfer to Ukraine large quantities of weapons and military supply.

And to be honest, much number of sea mines placed by Ukrainian military, to make impossible Russian landing from sea, and second target is to make impossible to use sea ports to supply Russian military forces on Ukrainian territory.

So right answer with full truth - Ukrainian sea ports will open, when Russian military got away from Ukrainian territories, surrounding Ukrainian ports, and when Russian navy will move far enough from Ukrainian coast. (So Ukraine will have full control over these ports)

Technically possible solution, to place UN forces, to control these territories, and to place military ships of countries non involved in conflict, to accept only humanitarian cargo.

But unfortunately, countries powerful enough to participate in these activities, avoid to do this, because Russia threatens to declare them side of conflict in such case. So I say, West avoid to declare war to Russia.

So at the moment, only possible solution, is to supply Ukrainians with modern western weapons, so Ukrainians will themselves release Ukrainian ports/coasts/territories from occupants.

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