Lithuania proposed using the Baltic ports to export Ukrainian grain

Lithuanian authorities have appealed to the European Union to use the Baltic ports to export Ukrainian agricultural products after Russia withdrew from the “grain deal” and began to destroy Ukraine’s port structure, writes AFP.

Such an option could become a “reliable alternative” to the Black Sea Corridor and would enable the transport of 25 million tons of grain annually, according to a letter from three Lithuanian ministers to the European Commission.

Earlier, the general director of the seaport in Klaipeda, Algis Latakas, announced the possibility of reloading 10 million tons of Ukrainian grain. However, port delivery can be a problem as it will require many arrangements with different countries. If the problem is solved, Klaipeda is already able to provide 100% service for some Ukrainian grain: the port can accept 10-15 million tons of products.

The day before, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said that he considered it inappropriate to ease sanctions against Russia in exchange for Moscow returning to the “grain deal”. According to him, concessions to the “dictator” are extremely unfair, and “this is the position of all authorities, regardless of the level of discussion.”

Boredom noticed it the sanctions should not be relaxed either against Russia or Belarus and should be equally severe for both countries.

Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Initiative on July 17 and threatened a military risk to those countries that decide to renew the agreement without it.. Subsequently, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that it would consider all ships bound for Ukrainian ports as “military targets” and launched massive attacks on elevators and sea and river ports in Odessa and Nikolaev. The attacks are still going on.

President Vladimir Putin complained about this agreements with Russia have not been fulfilled, but “Western countries have turned this initiative into a means of political blackmail and a way to enrich multinational companies. ABOUTHowever, he then agreed to return to the contract under several conditions, including withdrawing from the sanctions on the supply of Russian grain and fertilizers “to world markets”, connecting banks to SWIFT, resuming imports of spare parts for agricultural machinery, and restoring operation of the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline.

On the other hand Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suggested that Turkey and the UN should continue Ukrainian exports without Russia’s involvement. One option was to run through the territorial waters of Romania and Bulgaria. The allies were also offered to organize a military “grain corridor” patrol.

The EU has committed to supporting Ukraine’s efforts to export its agricultural products through the so-called “solidarity bands” created in May 2022 to help Kiev ship products. According to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, more than 45 million tonnes of grain, oilseeds and other products have already been exported through them.

Croatia has also offered its rail network and ports on the Adriatic as an alternative route, while Bulgaria and Greece are discussing plans to transit Ukrainian agricultural products on Bulgarian trains to Greek ports.


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