Ukraine considers “grain corridor” through the territorial waters of Romania and Bulgaria

Romania and Ukraine's neighboring countries will ask for another extension of the ban on the import of Ukrainian grain.

After Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Ukraine is considering the possibility of a “grain corridor” through the territorial waters of Romania and Bulgaria, Suspilne writes, citing Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey.

Vasyl Bodnar, Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey, said on a TV show that “Russia, after withdrawing from the agreement, said it does not guarantee security. And that means they’ll be shooting at ports, infrastructure, and possibly ships. That’s the risk,” he said.

The ambassador noted that these threats will particularly affect shipping companies and insurance. At the same time, according to Bodnar, Ukraine has created an adequate fund to guarantee these risks.

“We also have opportunities to attract ships and companies that are ready to supply these ships for grain transportation. From our point of view, this can be implemented even without using this route, which has already been agreed, but through the territorial waters of Romania and Bulgaria. A risk-minimization option is also possible,” the diplomat said.

Earlier, Bodnar said that Ukraine aims to continue the “grain agreement” in a tripartite format. “We are working today. President Zelensky sent messages to the President of Turkey and the UN Secretary General. Minister Kuleba is already working at the UN to seek a consensus of the international community on the continuation of this grain transport initiative,” he said.

On July 17, Russia sent Turkey, Ukraine and the UN objections to the continuation of the “grain agreement” and said that without its participation, the agreement would expire on July 18. In particular, it assumes that Moscow withdraws the safety guarantees of ships, closes the maritime humanitarian corridor in the northwestern waters of the Black Sea.

The UN has confirmed receipt of a notification from Moscow on the termination of participation in the Black Sea Grains Initiative.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Black Sea Initiative went down in history as an important diplomatic success and promised to discuss the extension of the agreement with the President of the Russian Federation.

EC President Ursula von der Leyen called Russia’s withdrawal from the “grain deal” a cynical step.

President Volodymyr Zelensky pointed out that the Russian Federation is disrupting agreements with Turkey and the UN through its actions. Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba said in an interview with CBS that Russia’s withdrawal from the grain agreement will lead to an increase in world prices for agricultural products and threaten the population of many countries with starvation.

Romania and Ukraine’s neighboring countries will ask for another extension of the ban on the import of Ukrainian grain

On a different note, Romania and four other EU member states neighboring Ukraine will submit a joint request to Brussels on Wednesday to extend the ban on grain imports from Ukraine beyond the September 15 deadline, Hungary’s agriculture minister told Reuters.

Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have become alternative transit routes for Ukrainian grain to help offset a slowdown in exports through the country’s Black Sea ports after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began last year.

The collapse of the agreement that allowed Ukrainian grain exports to the Black Sea this week could lead to increased grain flows and blockages in the five countries, these Central European states fear.

In May, the European Union allowed the five countries to ban domestic sales of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds from Ukraine, allowing only the transit of these goods for export elsewhere, including to other EU countries. This ban would expire on September 15, after being extended once more to cover the entire summer period.

Black Sea Grain InitiativeBulgariagrain corridorriskRomaniaRussiashipsshootingterritorial watersukrainewarwithdrawal
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