According to sources close to the case, the European Commission will consider on Wednesday a strategy to resolve technical and bureaucratic issues in order to speed up deliveries of vegetable oils, corn and wheat, some of the most important products exported by Ukraine.
The EU executive is worried about logistical bottlenecks that could hamper efforts to use alternative land routes via neighboring countries, as infrastructure problems could affect exports despite recent efforts to remove trade barriers with Kiev, informs Agerpres
The agricultural and food sector is responsible for almost 10% of Ukraine’s GDP. ALast week, the neighboring country exported $ 28 billion worth of food worldwide, including seven billion euros worth of food to the EU. Before the war, nearly five million tons of agricultural products were delivered each month through Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea, which are now blocked by Russian ships.
The source said that the EU and Ukraine are working non-stop to find a solution by the summer, as Ukraine needs to get rid of at least 25 million tonnes of foodstuffs blocked in the country before the new harvest.
However, there are limits on the quantities that can be transported on land routes. The maximum export capacity by rail is estimated at 1.1 million tons of grain per month and 250,000 tons of sunflower oil, Roman Slaston, general manager of the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club, estimated last month. According to him, there are challenges in reaching this maximum capacity, which is even lower than what was normally exported by sea.
In addition, Ukrainian products face a host of phytosanitary measures and land transport quotas, which complicate their ability to pass through various Member States to their final destination, according to Bloomberg sources.
However, European officials stress that finding a solution for Ukraine’s food exports should be a priority as this would not only reduce the global food crisis but also ensure that revenues would cover Kiev’s urgent financial needs.
“Ukraine is a rich country, the granary of Europe. “Right now the country is on the brink of last year’s harvest with a value of eight billion euros that it cannot export by sea,” European Investment Bank director Werner Hoyer said on Tuesday.
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