Russia outlines 4 ways to ‘rescue’ food from Ukraine

To solve the problem of transporting grain to Ukraine, one of the key issues is to ensure the safe passage of cargo ships. According to Tass, Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered a number of options and expressed his willingness to support this process.

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Russian President Putin. (Photo: Newsweek)

First, food could be shipped from the ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow is ready to create the “necessary logistical conditions” and ensure the easy transportation of grain from the ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol “without asking for any preconditions”.

These are Russian-controlled ports. Besides, the demining from the waters adjacent to these ports has actually been completed.

Second, Russia is also not opposed to efforts to transport grain through the Kiev-controlled port of Odessa in southern Ukraine and is ready to ensure the safe passage of ships involved. However, grain ships can only leave the port after Kiev has removed the mines. Russia added that the ships sunk by Ukraine earlier had been recovered.

President Putin also assured that Russia would not take advantage of the situation to launch a sea attack on Odessa.

According to the report of Bloomberg, Russia and Turkey had tentatively agreed to unblock the Odessa port. Ankara plans to set up a special center in Istanbul to monitor and coordinate cargo ships. Meanwhile, Moscow insisted that all ships arriving in Odessa be inspected to prevent the possibility of them transporting weapons.

The Russian president also mentioned the way of transporting grain through Western countries. Accordingly, the parties can bring food from Ukraine across the Danube, towards ports in Romania. From here, Ukrainian grain can be transported by rail to Hungary, Romania and Poland.

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Map of the territories of Ukraine.

However, as the official Ukrainian rail width is 1,520 mm, the carriages will need to be adjusted to conform to the European rail standard of 1,435 mm.

According to Ukrainian authorities, the country has six facilities that can make adjustments, including two on the border with Poland (Yagodin – with a capacity of 28 cars per day) and Mostiska (18 cars) cars), Yesen on the border with Hungary (30 cars) and Vadul-Siret on the border with Romania (40 cars). Thus, every day there can be about 175 food wagons that can be transported across the border.

In addition, Lithuania also proposes to use its port of Klaipeda for Ukrainian grain exports and to bring some trains to Ukraine via Poland, bypassing Belarus. However, the times when these trains may be performing the carriage are not commercially appropriate. Another problem is the lack of carriages. About 4,000 carriages are needed to transport this way, but neither Ukraine nor Lithuania have the necessary quantities at their disposal.

Therefore, shipping through Belarus is the 4th route. Then the parties will not need to make any adjustments. In this way, direct deliveries to the Baltic ports also become possible.

However, Western countries and Ukraine rejected this idea, as the option included the possibility of having to remove sanctions imposed on Belarus.

Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations are negotiating to resolve the issue of blocked grain supplies from Ukraine. Meanwhile, global wheat and corn prices have increased significantly since the start of the year. The United Nations Security Council announced during its session on May 21 that the world has only enough wheat for ten weeks, and the forecast is worse than in the crisis years of 2007 and 2008. On the Kiev side, the main This right requires that Russian troops be withdrawn before deliveries can begin.

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