Amid growing calls for naval intervention to open up Ukrainian ports for grain exports, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said such an operation would amount to a “high risk military operation.”
The West is blaming Russian ships for blocking grain exports from leaving Ukrainian ports, but there are other factors, including mines laid by Ukraine. Russia said last week that it cleared mines around Mariupol and that the Azov Sea port is now open to civil vessels.
This week, Retired Adm. James Stavridis, a former supreme allied commander of NATO, suggested that naval vessels under the auspice of the UN or NATO could escort convoys of grain ships out of Ukraine.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba suggested on Tuesday that Ukraine was pushing for a UN convoy to open its ports. “Ukraine is working on an international UN-led operation with navies of partners ensuring a safe trade route with no security risks,” he wrote on Twitter.
Milley said such a plan would be high risk due to the presence of Russian ships and mines in the waters. “You can take the grain out by truck or train, or you can take it out by sea. Right now, the sea lanes are blocked by mines and the Russian navy. In order to open up those sea lanes would require a very significant military effort,” Milley said. “It would be a high-risk military operation that would require significant levels of effort.”
Whether under the banner of the UN or not, trying to send Western warships into Ukrainian ports obviously risks sparking a direct war with Russia.
Turkey said on Tuesday that it is in talks with Russia to establish a safe corridor for Ukrainian grain exports. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara wants to establish a center in Istanbul to monitor the corridor.
9 thoughts on “Milley Says Using Military to Open Ukrainian Ports Would Be ‘High Risk’”
What a frightening proposition. He either does not know or is flat out lying.
Which Ukrainian port should be unblocked from bad Russia to allow Ukrainian wheat to feed poor Africa? Nineteen century idiocy in nuclear age.
Hello! Ukraine has BLICKED ITS OWN PORTS BY LATMYINB OLD FASHIONED MARINE MINES.
All Ukraine needx to do is REMOVE OWN MINS FROM ODESSA.
And then ask those dozens of foreign cargo ships to leave and free up berths for new, ships to handle grain from the port. There is no need to use “ports”. One is enougj.
But then Ukraine has no money to fuel up all those ships it detsinec illegly.
Wby not give Ukrsine more money — what difference does it make any more to get one port going by remiving problems it crested. Or much bettet — have Russia and Turkey handle it. No fusd no mess, and no more Zelenski on TV with his drama’.
Milley finally says something that makes sense; namely that Ukrainian grain can be exported by rail or truck to the west. from there, it can be taken to Constanta on the Black sea, and shipped vis freighter to it’s final destination.
But Ukraine doesn’t “want” a solution; Ukraine wants to trigger a shooting incident between NATO and Russia. Maybe that makes sense, from Ukraine’s perspective, but the west needs to realize that they are being manipulated by Ukraine for its own purposes, and stop listening to the lunatic from Kiev.
Only it really cant – as in the amount of rail cars it would require and the number of times they would have to be changed from wide ‘Russian’ gauge to narrow European gauge would make transporting the grain an impossible or uneconomic task.
Ukraine may have these goals, but transporting the grain by truck or train is not a viable option – there is neither the train nor the truck capacity to transport these amounts of grain.
Of course it is. It’s just bulk cargo, not rocket science. All the grain moves to Odessa right now anyway; just shunt it to the border and transship to Constanta. Any “real” railroad man can tell you how it’s done.
The transport need is in the range of 20 million tons:
* seaports outside UA: special loading equipment [i.e. elevators; massive ‘vacuum cleaners’] has to be installed to load the bulk carriers; that takes time.
* railroad: different gauges; rail capacity dubious [only 5.000(?) tons per train]
* “trucks waiting in UA”: very low capacity; you need special artics for grain transports [like a dump truck, plus some extra equipment; in ports, they are frequently unloaded by tipping the whole truck/artic combination instead of having the truck tip its trough]
So not as easy as you make it sound.
How were “these amounts of grain” previously transported from farms to seaports? By backpack?
Good question AFAIK slowly load by load via existing infrastructure to the port of departure where it accumulates until export, as far as I know – as each farm makes arrangements with an intermediary that forwards the grain to the port where it accumulates over time.
I do not think these smaller transports could be extended so much further without incurring large costs. Over time sure the system to transport via a different route could be build, but it would require investments in infrastructure – or it would be economically unviable.
No need for any such ridiculous fantasy. All the ukraine has to do is to de-mine the ports still in their possession, Odessa, and release the ships trapped there and they’re free to go. Ukie mines floating with the current, as it goes, down to the strait of bosporous might still be a problem though…
As I said elsewhere here, not going to happen. Turkey won’t allow it due to Montreaux Convention, not wanting to piss off Russia, not wanting a naval war on its front lawn, and ticked off at NATO over Finland and Sweden.
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