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EU plans to bolster land export of Ukrainian grain after Russia abandons Black Sea Grain Initiative

Tuesday, 18 July 2023, 21:04

The EU seeks to transport more Ukrainian grain by road and rail to compensate for Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

This was stated by the leaders and officials of the bloc, as reported by Reuters

"On Tuesday, Russia struck Ukrainian grain ports, a day after Moscow withdrew from a deal that allowed Ukrainian grain blocked by the Russia-Ukraine conflict to be exported safely," the agency writes.


"It means that hundreds of thousands of people around the world will be deprived of basic food," top EU diplomat Josep Borrell told reporters on Tuesday on the sidelines of the bloc's summit with Latin American and Caribbean countries.

"They are using hunger as a weapon. This is one of the worst things that Putin could have done," Borrell added.

A senior EU official separately said the bloc supports Türkiye and the UN in efforts to bring Russia back into the agreement.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the bloc would also respond by expanding overland export routes for Ukrainian grain through "solidarity lanes" or road and rail links through Ukraine's EU neighbours as well as through Moldova.

"There are other ways to get the grain out of Ukraine, for example through Romania and through Poland. If the Russians persist in this policy of preventing Ukraine from exporting grain and fertiliser, we will have to find other ways to get the grain out," Varadkar assured.

Background: On 17 July, the Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov announced the suspension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Russia also announced the withdrawal of the shipping security guarantees under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which ceased to be in effect on Monday, 17 July. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told RIA Novosti that Russia officially informed Türkiye and Ukraine, as well as the UN secretariat, of objections to the continuation of the Black Sea grain initiative.

Recently, Russia has regularly threatened not to extend the grain corridor, despite calls from the UN and Türkiye, which became mediators of the agreement.

The President of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said that he believes the Russian president actually wants the so-called grain deal to be extended and will talk to him about it.

Subsequently, the Kremlin denied the statements of the Turkish president.

According to media reports, the EU was considering concessions to the Russian bank for the sake of continuation of the agreement. In particular, this regards the creation of a subsidiary of the subsidiary Rosselkhozbank to restore its connection with SWIFT.

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