London’s insurance market has placed the entire region around the Black Sea on its high risk list, meaning soaring costs for shipments.
Boris Johnson said the UK was considering all options when asked whether the Government could provide sovereign guarantees for shipping insurance.
“What the UK possibly has to offer, most of all, is expertise when it comes to maritime insurance, and a lot of expertise in moving goods through should we say contested areas of the sea,” he said.
Asked if Britain was ready to help Ukraine demine the area, the Prime Minister said: “Yes, I don’t want to get into the technical or military details, but you can take it from what we have already done in supplying equipment to the Ukrainians to help themselves protect that we are certainly talking to them at a technical level to help demine Odesa.”
Any mine clearing effort would be the biggest attempted since the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, and any project to clear mines off Ukraine would take several months.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said separately on Thursday that urgent action needed to be taken within the next month, ahead of the next harvest, to maintain supply.