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Romania wants to transit 60% of Ukrainian grain

by Martin Fornusek August 18, 2023 5:58 PM 2 min read
Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal (L) and Romania's Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu (R) during Shmyhal's official visit to Bucharest, Romania, Aug. 18, 2023. (Photo credit: DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP via Getty Images)
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Bucharest hopes that around 60% of Ukrainian grain exports could transit through Romanian territory following Russia's unilateral termination of the grain deal, the country's Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said on Aug. 18, Reuters reported.

Ciolacu pointed out that Romania is working to improve its connecting infrastructure by rail, road, river, and sea, as well as border crossings.

The country's Transport and Infrastructure Minister Sorin Grindeanu said on Aug. 11 that Romania plans to increase the transit capacity of Ukrainian grain from 2 million metric tons to 4 million every month.

"We agreed that the Ukrainian grain exports must be accelerated in the context of the recent attacks that we are all aware of in recent weeks on the Ukrainian ports of Reni and Izmail," Grindeanu said.

Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative on July 17 was followed by systematic strikes against Ukrainian ports and grain infrastructure. This included Ukraine's ports on the Danube River Reni and Izmail, lying only several hundred meters away from Romania's border.

As Reuters pointed out, Romania's port of Constanta had emerged as Ukraine's biggest alternative shipping route even before the grain deal collapsed. In the first seven months of 2023, the port facilitated the transit of 8.1 million metric tons of Ukrainian grain, and 8.6 million metric tons in 2022, Reuters said.

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,
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