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Romania to increase transit of Ukrainian grain from two to four million tons per month

Representatives of the US, Romania, the EU, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine at a discussion meeting on Ukrainian grain transit routes on 11 August. Credit: US Embassy in Ukraine
Romania to increase transit of Ukrainian grain from two to four million tons per month

Romania will double its capacity to transit Ukrainian grain through its territory from two to four million tons per month, Agerpres reported citing Romania’s Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Sorin Grindeanu.

The Romanian minister made this statement after discussing alternative routes for transporting grain from Ukraine with representatives of the United States, the European Union, Moldova, Ukraine, and Romania.

We agreed that the Ukrainian grain exports must be accelerated in the context of the recent attacks that we are all aware of in recent weeks on the Ukrainian ports of Reni and Ismail. During these meetings, we emphasized the importance of Romanian transport routes by land, by rail, and also by sea, to maintain a continuous flow for exports and imports from Ukraine,” Minister Grindeanu said.

Grindeanu added that from the perspective of transport on the Danube, the Sulinsky Canal is the only viable waterway for these shipments, so it is important to optimize the capacity of this route.

It was an extremely good meeting, fruitful, which will lead us through the measures we will take to increase the transit capacity of grains coming from Ukraine, through Romania, so that from over 2 million tonnes we currently have monthly we will reach the target we have proposed in the next period, namely of almost 4 million tonnes,” Romania’s Minister of Transport and Infrastructure concluded.

  • On 17 July 2023, the Russian Federation withdrew from the Black Sea grain initiative, an UN-brokered agreement to unblock Ukraine’s ports and export its grain, and stated that it would not guarantee that it will 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 on 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. Meanwhile, Ukraine has changed the course of its grain corridor so that it stays within Romanian waters. Reportedly, the US declined Ukrainian requests to escort commercial vessels in the waters of NATO countries to ensure that the grain corridor keeps functioning.
  • The Institute for Study of War has observed that Russia seems intent on enforcing a de-facto naval blockade of the Black Sea by intimidating civilian vessels in it. Particularly, a Russian warship told a ship that sailing to Ukraine could get it treated as a military target, according to an intercept shared by Ukrainian officials on 28 July.
  • In it, a Russian ship used an open channel to contact a ship passing near one of the Ukrainian ports. The Russian ship asked about the ship’s affiliation, what cargo it was carrying, and whether there were any weapons on board. Then, it stated that any transportation to Ukraine is considered by the Russian Federation as potential transportation of military cargo and told that the country under whose flag the ship is flying will be considered by Russia to be involved in the war.

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