Ukraine has established two routes to export grain through Poland and Romania and avoid a global food crisis, although bottlenecks have slowed supply chains, Kyiv's deputy foreign minister said on Sunday.
Global food security is in jeopardy, Dmytro Senik said, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine has halted exports of Black Sea grains from Kyiv, leading to widespread shortages and soaring prices.
Ukraine, the world's fourth-largest grain exporter, said it had about 30 million tonnes of grain stored on Ukrainian-controlled territory and tried to export it by road, river and rail.
Senik said Ukraine is in talks with the Baltic states to add a third corridor for food exports.
He did not detail how much grain has been or will be transported through these routes.
“These routes are not perfect because it creates certain bottlenecks, but at the same time, we are doing our best to develop them,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of the Asian Security Summit in Singapore.
The Ukrainian rail system operates on a different gauge than its European neighbors such as Poland, so grain has to be transferred to different trains at the border, where there are not many transshipment or storage facilities.
Re-shipping grain to Romania involves transporting the grain by rail to a port on the Danube and loading the cargo on a barge to the port of Constanta, a complex and costly process.
Moscow has called the war an extraordinary military operation and has denied hitting civilian and agricultural targets, blaming Western sanctions against Russia and Ukraine for mines that have led to lower food exports and higher global prices. It is also a major exporter of food.
The Ukrainian war dominated the process of the Shangri-La Dialogue at the Singapore Conference. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed delegates via video link on Saturday, telling them that their country's support was crucial not only to defeating the Russian aggression, but also to maintaining a rules-based order.
(Apart from the title, this story was unedited by NDTV staff and was posted from a syndicated feed.)