Ukraine asks EU for "green corridors" for export of grain through European ports
Photo: Depositphotos

The Ukrainian Grain Association officially appealed to the European Commission with a proposal to create alternative routes for the export of grain from Ukraine through European ports with subsequent shipment to third countries, according to a statement on the website of the association.

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The prospect of using ports located far from Ukraine was considered last year, recalled the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Mykola Solskyi. In the summer of 2023, in anticipation of a new harvest, government representatives held negotiations with the European Union and asked for compensation for transit to the ports of Lithuania and Latvia, Germany, the Netherlands, as well as to the Adriatic ports of Croatia, Slovenia and Italy.

Subsidizing the transportation of Ukrainian agricultural goods to distant ports in the amount of 30 euros per ton will be able to significantly speed up and make exports more dynamic in the 2023 season, he emphasized.

UGA offered to increase the throughput capacity of "solidarity lanes" by 1-1.5 million tons per month, compensating part of the costs of European carriers and ports that transit Ukrainian grain.

This can be done by exporting grain through the ports of the Baltic countries (Klaipeda and others), Germany (Rostock, Hamburg), the Netherlands (Rotterdam), Croatia (Rijeka), Italy (Trieste) and Slovenia (Koper).

Ukraine asks EU for "green corridors" for export of grain through European ports

"The development of these routes is actively supported by the European Commission," UGA noted.

Currently, the routes are not used much due to the complexity and cost of logistics. The price difference is approximately 30-40 euros per ton.

UGA asks the EU to introduce "green corridors" for Ukrainian agricultural products to the seaports of the Baltic countries, Germany, the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia, which will include:

  • The transfer of sanitary, phytosanitary and veterinary control from checkpoints on the border with Ukraine to the territory of the country of destination, which will ensure a significant increase in exports.
  • Introduction of subsidies from the European Commission to compensate European carriers for additional logistics costs for transit transportation and partial compensation for European ports — the so-called port costs for Ukrainian grain.
In 2022, Ukraine harvested more than 73 million tons of grain and oilseeds, and exports in the 2022/2023 season amounted to about 58 million tons. More than 29 million tons of grain and oilseeds were exported by Ukrainian Black Sea ports as part of the grain initiative, a little more than 15 million tons by Danube ports, and about 14 million tons by rail and road.

This year, Ukrainian producers can harvest about 69 million tons of grain and oilseed crops, and the projected volume of exports in the 2023/2024 marketing year may amount to about 45 million tons. Additionally, Ukraine also exports oil and meal — about 9-10 million tons per year.

Ukraine offered Turkey and the UN to continue the work of the grain corridor in the Black Sea without Russia. For this, it would be possible to attract Turkish warships, suggested the general director of the Ukrainian agricultural holding HarvEast, Dmytro Skornyakov. But Ankara considers such a step very risky.

On July 19, the ambassador of Ukraine to Turkey, Vasyl Bodnar, said that Ukraine is considering the option of transporting grain through the territorial waters of NATO member countries Romania and Bulgaria.

On July 17, Russia announced its withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, noting that it would not give guarantees of non-attack on civilian vessels after that date. On the same day, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy offered the UN and Turkey to continue the work of the corridor without Russia.

On July 19, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced that starting from July 20, the aggressor state will consider the countries whose ships go to the ports of Ukraine to be "involved in the conflict".

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry mirrored Russia's threat to ships in the Black Sea.

In the early hours of Monday, as a result of an enemy attack , three warehouses with grain were destroyed in the port of Reni.