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Biden: U.S. to Build Silos to Export Ukrainian Grain

Temporary silos could help quickly scale up grain storage capacity, facilitate grain exports

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the U.S. will build temporary silos on Poland’s border with Ukraine to facilitate the export of grain out of the war-torn nation and address surging food prices amid Russia’s invasion, reports Politico.

U.S. and Western officials have been exploring efforts to build temporary silos in Ukraine and other nations as a means to quickly scale up grain storage capacity in Ukraine, where a Russian naval blockade is holding back more than 25 million tons of grain from the world food supply.

Temporary grain silos could expedite exports by rail

According to a Reuters report, Biden said Washington was developing a plan to get grain out by rail, but noted Ukrainian track gauges were different from those in Europe, so the grain has to be transferred to different trains at the border.

Grain could be transferred from Ukrainian railway cars into the new silos, and then onto European freight cars to "get it out to the ocean and get it across the world," he said, adding the plan was taking time.

U.N., Russia Talks

Talks are ongoing between the United Nations and Russia, and separately with Turkey, which aims to broker a deal with Russia to allow Ukraine to restart grain exports via the Black Sea.

But Biden administration officials and U.S. lawmakers are skeptical of Russia’s efforts, since Moscow is demanding sanctions relief in return.

According to the report from Politico, Russian forces continue to target Ukraine’s grain silos and agricultural infrastructure, while stealing grain from the country, U.S. and Ukrainian officials have said.

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