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Ukraine may use Croatian ports for grain exports

After talks on Monday, the two sides look at ports on the Danube River and the Adriatic Sea to move Ukrainian grain.

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot
Port Ropes Barge Anestiev Pixabay
Anestiev | PIXABAY.com

After talks between the two countries on July 31, Ukraine and Croatia have agreed on the possibility of using Croatian ports on the Danube River and the Adriatic Sea for the export of Ukrainian grain.

Russia left the Black Sea Grain Initiative on July 17, blockading the waterway and limiting Ukraine's choice of a safe way to export its agricultural products. The Black Sea handled about 95% of Ukrainian grain exports before Russia’s invasion. Under the grain deal, Ukraine was able to ship 32.9 million metric tons of grain. An additional 2.5 million metric tons were exported monthly by the Danube River, road and rail through Europe.

"Now we will work to establish the most efficient routes to these ports and make the most of this opportunity," Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told Reuters after the meeting in Kyiv.

With no safe passage through the Black Sea, Ukraine currently relies on the land export routes via the European Union as well as an alternative route via the Danube River. Russia has attacked grain infrastructure along the river, raising questions as to how much longer that route will remain viable, reported the AP.

Analysts note corn and wheat production in Ukraine is down nearly 40% this year from prewar levels.

The Ukrainian harvest this year is the lowest in a decade, according to a July report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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