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Ukraine Makes the Call for Safe Passage for Grain Exports

Ukraine Makes the Call for Safe Passage for Grain Exports
Source: Al Jazeera

According to Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, the international community should assist provide a “safe path” for millions of tons of grain stranded in the country to depart.

According to the BBC, Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Svyrydenko, a “corridor” is required.

The inability of Ukraine to sell its grain has pushed up global food costs.

It has also increased the likelihood of hunger in nations that rely on its exports.

Ms Svyrydenko, who is also Ukraine’s Economy Minister, encouraged the international community to assist in the lifting of the country’s sea port embargo.

She said that there may be a “solution” that would allow Ukraine to export grain that was stranded in its silos and couldn’t be delivered.

“We need the help of our international partners to safeguard our exports through sea ports… to figure out how to establish a corridor, or another alternative, to allow Ukrainian ships to export across the Black Sea,” she added. “A safe journey.”

She said that military methods could be required to accomplish this.

“We need a guarantee from partners, of course it’s a defence guarantee, a security guarantee,” Ms Svyrydenko explained.

“And to do so on a regular basis, not just once. That is really significant.”

Following the Russian invasion, Ukraine’s wheat exports plummeted.

Everything from bread and cakes to noodles and pasta has increased in price as wheat prices have risen on global commodities markets.

Ukraine is able to export limited quantities of its goods via the Danube river, rail, and barges.

Ms Svyrydenko, however, cautioned that those approaches are insufficient.

“I believe it would take us five, six, or seven years to export all of these agricultural harvests via these channels, if you compute it.” So right now, it’s critical for us to open the seaports, and we’re working with our partners to do so,” she explained.

“The world requires it because Russia is threatening global starvation, and the only way to tackle this crisis is to open the sea ports.”

“If we don’t provide farmers the option to export their products, there will be no reason for them to proceed to the following growing season,” she concluded.

Another issue on the agenda, according to Ms Svyrydenko, was how to use assets damaged by foreign sanctions.

Ukraine stated in March that it believes the frozen assets of Russian billionaires and Russian central bank money should be utilized to assist the reconstruction of Ukraine.

“We could seize them and use them to rebuild Ukraine,” she said. “What was the point of freezing those assets if no Ukrainian was going to get them?”

“All we have to do now is figure out how to obtain these monies,” Ms Svyrydenko added.

She stated that everything would need to be rebuilt, from railway stations to industries. Ukraine has projected that $600 billion will be required to restore the country.

Last week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU was looking at how Russian oligarchs’ frozen assets may be used to pay for Ukraine’s post-war rebuilding.