Ukraine is considering using its newly tested Black Sea export corridor for grain shipments after the first successful evacuation of a ship along the route last week, a senior official said Monday, according to Reuters.

Russia has blockaded Ukrainian ports since invading its neighbor in February 2022 and threatened to treat all ships as potential military targets after it pulled out of the UN-backed safe transit agreement on Black Sea grain exports last month.

In response, Ukraine announced one “humanitarian corridor” which stretches on the west coast of the sea near Romania and Bulgaria. A Hong Kong-flagged container ship that had been stuck in Odessa port since the invasion sailed away safely last week.

“Only one commercial vessel has passed so far and it shows the readiness to move now with alternative routes”Denis Marchuk, deputy head of the Agricultural Council, Ukraine’s largest agricultural business organization, told national television.

“Furthermore, there should be movement of potentially 7-8 more ships and then perhaps in the future these alternative routes will become a corridor for the movement of ships traveling with cargoes of grains and oilseeds“, he said.

The Financial Times they reported that Kiev finalizes plan with global insurance companies for coverage of grain ships traveling to and from Black Sea ports, invoking Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine Oleksandr Gryban.

Ukraine is a major global producer and exporter of grain and usually ships millions of tons of food from its Black Sea ports of Odessa and Mykolaiv, but had to rely on the Danube River ports after Russia withdrew from the deal.

To attract shipowners to Ukrainian ports that have come under fire from Russian forcesMarchuk said Ukraine has already allocated 20 billion hryvnias ($547 million) for ship insurance.

“Not all shipowners will dare to put their ships in an uncertain environment”he added.