– Does the whole world have to pay for Ukraine’s refusal to cede territory to russia? – asked Hadley Gamble.
– I think, that we live in a world, where everyone can make his own choice of what to do, or what not to do. At the beginning of the war, some countries believe that this will never affect them… Now some of these countries are already feeling the pressure of the food crisis and they feel the repercussions so this war on them. And this is only the beginning. And if we allow president putin to continue his military madness, the crisis will go deeper and deeper…” – answered Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Foreign Minister.
According to the US department of agriculture, Ukrainian export has really decreased this year. Before the war, Ukraine exported more than 6 million tons of grain every month. Almost 25 million tons of grain are stuck in Ukraine now (U.N. food agency), and it must be exported before the harvest of the winter crops. It results in about more than 50% of grain storage capacity being currently full (10-15% the previous year). The total is 57 million tones. However, some attempts are done. Railways are the most probable option to transport grain supplies. Therefore, European and Ukrainian organizations are working on creating the companies that would accelerate the documentary procedure and the process of crossing the border according to the fact that railroads in Ukraine are wider, and that it takes up almost 10 times longer to load the barge from the railroads than from terminals directly.
The grain exports are increasing not so fast: in March – 416 thousand tons, in April – 638 thousand tons. Ukrainian railway company plans to export 1.5 million tons of grain per month by fall. In the first half of May, Ukrzaliznytsia (railway company in Ukraine) transported 768.3 thousand tons of grain: 589.3 thousand tons through land crossings and 178.9 thousand tons through ports.
Transportation by barges on the Danube river is also considered. However, Danube ports have limited capacity due to the lack of barges, berths, and terminals. Previously, Ukraine practically did not use this method of exporting its products, so no one invested in these facilities. The UDS (Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company) held auctions to transport grain by barge to Bulgaria and Romania through this river. However, taking into consideration the high fuel prices and overloaded railroads, it is a very big challenge to bring all the commodities from Ukraine to other countries in such a way.
One of the reasons why the ship cannot be loaded with grain in Ukrainian agricultural ports is the drifting mines in the Black Sea. The interesting fact is, that when Russia accused Ukrainians of settling those mines, they provided the exact number of mines in the sea. That is why there are a lot of talks right now about how to actually open the ports. Ankara is negotiating with Russia about the opening of a corridor through Turkey for grain exports from Ukraine. Lithuania proposes to create an international convoy.
Russia blocked 22 million tons of grain in Ukrainian ports and illegally exported almost 500,000 tons of grain from the occupied territories. According to the UA embassy in Beirut, russia has already sold 100 000 t of Ukrainian grain to Syria. However, Egypt and Lebanon refused to buy the stolen grain.
Kherson oblast, known as a Ukrainian California, produces enough vegetables and fruits to feed all of Ukraine and to export. However, right now, the borders between this region and Ukraine are blocked. Therefore, russians bring Ukrainian products from there to Crimea and sell them for nothing, as a result, farmers are losing a lot.