Ukraine has established two routes through Poland and Romania to export grain and avert a global food crisis but bottlenecks are slowing the supply chain, the deputy foreign minister told Reuters on Sunday.
Dmytro Senik said global food security was at risk because Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had halted Kyiv’s Black Sea grain exports, causing widespread shortages and soaring prices, Reuters reported.
Ukraine is the world’s fourth-largest grain exporter and it says there are some 30 million tones of grain stored in Ukrainian-held territory which it is trying to export via road, river and rail.
Ukraine was in talks with Baltic states to add a third corridor for food exports, the deputy minister toldf Reuters news agency.
The Ukrainian rail system operates on a former Soviet gauge which is different from European neighbors such as Poland, so the grain has to be transferred to different trains at the border where there are not many transfer or storage facilities.
Re-routing grain to Romania involves transport by rail to ports on the Danube river and loading cargoes onto barges to sail to the port of Constanta which is both complex and expensive.
Moscow has denied hitting civilian and agricultural targets and blames Western sanctions on Russia and sea mines set by Ukraine for the blockade and rising global prices.
Russia is also a major grain exporter.