European Union Urges Russia To Renew Black Sea Grain Deal

A senior EU official has urged Russia to renew the grain deal, enabling the safe export of Ukraine’s grain via Black Sea ports after the latter pulled out of the agreement last month.

European Commission’s Executive VP Valdis Dombrovskis stated that Russian restrictions on shipping Ukraine’s grains via the Black Sea were creating issues not just for Kyiv but also for several developing nations.

Russia has been using grain as a weapon, mentioned Dombrovskis, who is currently in India for participating in a meeting of G20 trade ministers.

Black Sea Grain Deal
Representation Image

The country supports the efforts by the UN and Turkey on the Black Sea grain initiative, he told the reporters, adding the bloc was extending alternative trading channels, also referred to as solidarity lanes, to Ukraine for grain and other exports.

Turkey has been striving to persuade Moscow to rejoin the agreement brokered by the UN and Ankara a year back and one that ended last month.

On Thursday, Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, informed Antonio Guterres, the UN’s Secretary-General, that Russia will return to the deal provided the West fulfils its existing obligations to Moscow.

Until now, about 45 million tons of grain, oilseeds, and other related products have been exported via alternative channels via Romania and Poland, offering a pivotal lifeline to Ukraine, per Dombrovskis.
Per the EU Commission website, the bloc has used alternative routes since 2022 (May).

The commission introduced the Solidarity Lanes Action Plan for establishing alternative logistics channels via road, rail, and inland waterways.

The channels have helped Ukraine export over 36 million tons of non-agricultural products, including steel, iron ore, earth, and wood, generating almost 33 billion euros for Ukraine’s farmers and other businesses, the EU mentioned on its website.

References: Reuters, Tribune,

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