Public-private partnerships in Ukrainian seaports have not been suspended because of the full-scale Russian invasion of the country, and the preparation of concession projects in the Odesa and Izmail seaports is continuing.

Iryna Koshel-Repnevska, director of the Reform Support Team (RST) at the Ministry of Community Development, Territories, and Infrastructure, announced this in a statement, the CFTS portal reports, citing the Interfax Ukraine news agency.

"The only question is the investors and their interest in implementing these projects. These are privately initiated projects that started before the war, and their private initiators are interested in continuing the preparations even now. Since it is in the public domain, I can say that one of the projects is in the Odesa port and the other in the Izmail port," she said.

According to Koshel-Repnevska, competition always accompanies a concession project, and the RST supports the entire process of preparation of project proposals within the framework of the legislation.

She considers the decision to privatize the Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi seaport justified based on the conclusion by the foreign experts that studied the possibility of implementing a concession in the seaport.

"Based on its results, experts concluded it is impractical and unattractive to investors. In fact, the conclusions stated then that privatization could be an option," Koshel-Repnevska said.

According to her, further development of Ukrainian seaports will depend on the situation surrounding the grain deal (the Black Sea Grain Initiative that established a humanitarian maritime corridor to allow ships to export grain and other foodstuffs from Ukraine) and the possibility of extending it to include not only agricultural cargo, but also metallurgical cargo. Most of such cargo has been redirected to roads since the beginning of the war, but Ukraine’s western borders and overland border crossings are not always able to handle the load, which leads to cargo delays.

In this situation, the loads on Danube ports have also increased, but they cannot fully meet cargo transportation needs because, unlike the ports of Greater Odesa, they are not deep-water ports.