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Kuleba: Croatia to help export Ukrainian grain through its ports

by Dinara Khalilova July 31, 2023 9:05 PM 2 min read
A pile of maize grains is seen on the pier at the Izmail Sea Port, Odesa region, on July 22, 2023. (STRINGER / AFP via Getty Images)
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Ukraine and Croatia have agreed on using Croatian ports on the Danube River and the Adriatic Sea to export Ukrainian grain, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on July 31.

"We will now work on planning the most efficient routes to these ports and making the most of this opportunity. Every contribution to unlocking exports, every door opened is a real, effective input to world food security," Kuleba said following negotiations with his Croatian counterpart.

Croatia offered its rail network and ports as an alternative export route for Ukrainian grain after Russia’s one-side termination from the Black Sea Grain Initiative on July 17.

The initiative, brokered by Turkey and the United Nations in July 2022, allowed Ukraine to continue exporting its agricultural products during Russia’s full-scale war and played a crucial role in stabilizing food prices worldwide. After Moscow's withdrawal from the agreement, wheat prices rose sharply.

Timothy Ash: Solutions need to be found for grain exports
On July 17, 2023, Russia pulled out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The initiative was originally brokered in August 2022 by Turkey between Russia and Ukraine. It had been successful in facilitating the export of 32.5 million tonnes of grain out of Ukrainian ports, leaving in over 1,

Bulgaria also suggested that its transport infrastructure could be used for Ukrainian grain shipping while the European Union pledged to continue helping with Ukraine's exports via "solidarity lanes," created in May 2022.

During the July 31 negotiations, the Ukrainian and Croatian foreign ministers also discussed military aid for Kyiv and Zagreb’s part in implementing Ukraine’s peace formula.

"The Croatian side has confirmed its readiness to participate in the implementation of several points of the peace formula: regarding food security, energy security, restoration of respect for the UN Charter and territorial integrity of Ukraine, achieving justice for Russian crimes and preventing ecocide. We are very grateful," commented Kuleba.

In addition, the officials talked about preparations for the International Donor Conference on Mine Action in Ukraine, which will be held in Zagreb in October.

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