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US helping Ukraine search for alternative grain routes

Russia announces talks with Türkiye for replacement Black Sea Grain Initiative.

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot
Cargo Ship Boat Haul In Water Freddy Via Pixabay Jan 2023
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A senior U.S. State Department official said the U.S. is working with Romania and Moldova in order to increase Ukraine's grain exports using the Danube River as an alternative route for grain exports.

The official told Reuters on August 30 that the route could potentially double the amount of grain exiting Ukraine.

There will be a meeting in the coming weeks with the Romanians and Moldovans to discuss how to maximize the Danube route, the official said.

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. 

Russia has continued attacking grain infrastructure along the river, raising questions as to how much longer that route will remain viable.

In a related report, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan will discuss a proposal by Moscow for an alternative to the Black Sea grain deal when they meet this week.

Under the plan, Russia would send a million tons of grain to Türkiye at a discounted price, with financial support from Qatar, to be processed in Türkiye and sent to countries most in need, the Foreign Ministry said.

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