Ukrainian officials have said blockaded ports of the country are threatening global food security as it struggles to reroute grain shipments due to bottlenecks caused by Russia's invasion.
"We have no major alternative to sea transport," Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka said during an online conference on Friday (13 May), reports Bloomberg.
Most of Ukraine's ports have been shut since the war started limiting its grain exports to rail and road routes via neighbouring European Union nations.
The blockade has curtailed shipment volume to 1.1 million tons in April, versus about 5 million tons a month in normal times.
Rerouting cargoes would take years to organise, and the European Union's infrastructure currently isn't set up to handle a massive redirection over land routes, Taras Kachka added.
Ukraine is a key supplier to nations from Europe to Africa and Asia.
Kachka said a solution to the problem would need the assistance of allies including the US.
Poland's Gdansk port and Romania's Constanta are already overcrowded with supplies from Ukraine as supplies are re-routed, according to Mustafa Nayyem, Ukraine's deputy minister of infrastructure.
Fuel trucks are struggling with clogged checkpoints at the EU border, said Nayyem, who is part of the government's team helping the country secure supplies after Russia bombed its refineries and depots.