Donetsk, Jul 19 — DAN. The Mariupol seaport is actively preparing for grain exports with loading operations expected to begin shortly, port authorities told the Donetsk News Agency on Tuesday.

“Grain storage capacities are being prepared. Harvesting is now underway, and then we’ll be working hard to export grain, ” a port official said. “We’re checking grab buckets, reloaders and power lines in order to be able to start intensive work when the vessels arrive.” 

He added that repairs were running on cranes, small equipment and electrical substations. The first vessel might arrive at the port later this week or next week.

Mariupol’s trade port was fully freed from Ukrainian gunmen on April 13; the demining works were completed on May 25. The loading of the Slavutich, the first vessel that entered the port after its liberation, began on May 29. Donetsk People’s Republic leader Denis Pushilin said that the DPR would use the port for quick delivery of construction materials for the rebuilding of the Republic as well as for grain exports.*jk