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Ukraine grain exports via Poland, Romania face bottlenecks


© Reuters. Dmytro Senik is the Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Ministry. He spoke to Reuters on the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue, Singapore 12 June 2022. REUTERS/Caroline Chia

Kanupriya Kapoor

SINGAPORE (Reuters), Despite bottlenecks slowing the supply chain and allowing Ukraine to export grain through Poland and Romania, Kyiv’s deputy foreign minister stated on Sunday.

Dmytro senik claimed that the Russian invasion of Ukraine had put global food security at risk. It had stopped Kyiv exporting grain from Black Sea, which has caused shortages and skyrocketing prices.

Ukraine is world’s fourth-largest exporter of grain. The country claims it has 30 million tonnes grain in its territory. This grain is being exported via rail, road and river.

Senik stated that Ukraine had been in discussions with the Baltic countries to create a third route for food exports.

The details of how much grain was or will be transported through the routes were not provided by him.

He said that while those routes were not ideal because they create bottlenecks but that he was doing his best to improve them in the interim, speaking on behalf of Reuters at the Asian Security Summit in Singapore.

Because the Ukrainian railway system is different from European neighbors like Poland’s, the grain must be moved to other trains at the border. There aren’t many storage or transfer facilities.

The complex, expensive process of rerouting grain from Romania to Romania requires transporting by rail to port on the Danube and loading the cargo onto barges to be transported to the port at Constanta.

Moscow denies that the war was a military operation but calls it a “special military operation”. It also blames Western sanctions and Ukrainian seamines for the fall in food exports as well as rising prices. They are also major grain exporters.

At the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore, proceedings were dominated by the war in Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the Ukrainian president, addressed the delegates by video link Saturday. He said that his nation’s support was essential not only to defeat Russia but also to keep the rules-based system in place.