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Ukraine, US, EU, Romania, Moldova convene to discuss Ukrainian grain exports

by Martin Fornusek August 11, 2023 7:49 PM 2 min read
Representatives of Ukraine, the U.S., the EU, Romania, and Moldova held a meeting in Galati, Romania on Aug. 11 to discuss Ukrainian grain exports following Russia's unilateral termination of the grain deal. (Source: U.S. Embassy in Ukraine)
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Representatives of Ukraine, the U.S., the EU, Romania, and Moldova held a meeting in Galati, Romania, on Aug. 11 to discuss Ukrainian grain exports following Russia's unilateral termination of the grain deal.

During the meeting, the participants expressed appreciation for Romania and Moldova's support for Ukraine, namely in the context of facilitating the transit of millions of metric tons of Ukrainian grain, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine said.

The American representatives affirmed their commitment to helping Ukraine alleviate the consequences of the grain deal's collapse.

"The United States remains committed to partnering with the government and people of Ukraine – including through financial support and supplies, expansion of alternative export routes, and the modernization of Ukraine's border crossings," the press release of the U.S. embassy said.

"The United States will also contribute to improving critical infrastructure for rail and road transportation and transshipment, expanding access to train car parts and railway assembly lines, and assisting the private sector along the Danube in enhancing export capacity."

Washington has also pledged financial support to Ukraine's neighbors to acquire vessels and boats to facilitate cross-border transit.

According to the press release, the meeting was attended by U.S. State Department Sanctions Coordinator Ambassador Jim O'Brien, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink, U.S. Ambassador to Romania Kathleen Kavalec, Acting Deputy Chief of U.S. Mission to Moldova Mary Alexander, Romanian Transport and Infrastructure Minister Sorin Grindeanu, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Bolea, and European Commission Mobility and Transport Director General Magda Kopczynska.

Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative on July 17, effectively terminating the deal. The agreement, brokered in July 2022 by Turkey and the U.N., allowed Ukraine to export its agricultural products through its Black Sea ports.

The move sparked fears of food insecurity worldwide as prices of grain products began to rise following the deal's collapse.

Ukraine's grain exports are vital to the world's food supply. Before the full-scale invasion, Ukraine was the fifth-largest wheat exporter globally. The grain deal had allowed for nearly 33 million metric tons of food to be exported through Ukrainian ports while it was in force, according to the U.N.

Shortly after the deal's collapse, U.S. State Secretary Anthony Blinken said that Washington is looking for ways to help Ukraine export grain and other food products.

The EU pledged to increase the capacity of its "solidarity lanes," which facilitated the transit of more than 45 million metric tons of Ukrainian agricultural products since May 2022. Several member states, such as Romania and Croatia, have also agreed to use their infrastructure to aid Ukraine's exports.

This Week in Ukraine Ep. 17 – Black Sea grain deal is dead. What can Ukraine do?
Episode #17 of our weekly video podcast “This Week in Ukraine” is dedicated to the Black Sea grain deal, how Russia weaponized it, and ultimately killed it. Host Anastasiia Lapatina is joined by the Kyiv Independent’s reporter Alexander Query. Listen to the audio version of the podcast on Apple, S…
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