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Ukraine secures access to Croatian ports for grain exports

Photo source: Ukraine’s MFA

Ukraine has reached an agreement with Croatia to use its ports for grain exports following Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs made this announcement after Minister Dmytro Kuleba’s discussions with his Croatian counterpart, Gordan Grlić-Radman, during his visit to Ukraine.

“We have agreed on the possibility of using Croatian ports on the Danube and the Adriatic Sea to transport Ukrainian grain. Currently, we are working on establishing the most efficient routes to these ports and making the most of this opportunity. Every contribution to unlocking exports, every open door, is a real and effective contribution to global food security. I thank Croatia for their constructive assistance,” said Kuleba.

Last week, the Ukrainian Grain Association (UGA) appealed to the European Commission with a proposal to create alternative export routes for Ukrainian grain through European ports, with subsequent shipments to third countries.

Among the potential ports for the export of Ukrainian grain, the Croatian port of Rijeka was named. Rijeka is Croatia’s largest port, with a capacity of 13.6 million tons per year.

  • On 17 July 2023, the Russian Federation withdrew from the Black Sea grain initiative, a UN-brokered agreement to unblock Ukraine’s ports and export its grain, and stated that it would guarantee that it would not attack civilian vessels after that date. The Ukrainian defense ministry mirrored Russia’s threats to ships at sea.
  • After that, Russia launched massive missile attacks Odesa and the region with missiles and drones, destroying ports, granaries, residential buildings, and other facilities.
  • NATO has condemned the Russian attacks, but has thus far only vowed to increase surveillance.
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