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More than 5 million tons of grains from Ukraine have transited Romania since February
In the context of growing concerns about global food security, foreign minister Bogdan Aurescu announced that Romania had been facilitating, since February, the transit of over 5 million tons of grain from Ukraine. On Sunday, when World Food Day was celebrated, Aurescu reaffirmed Bucharest’s commitment to reducing the impact of the war in Ukraine on global food security. The Romanian official called for the extension of the grain export agreement through the Black Sea ports, forged this summer by Ukraine and Russia with Turkey and the UN, which expires in about one month.
Romania did even more to support Ukraine. In September, Romania and France signed an accord in the field of transport, which will further facilitate the export of Ukrainian grain. In his turn, President Klaus Iohannis said before the UN General Assembly in New York that the capacity of the Black Sea port of Constanta, the largest port for grain exports from Ukraine, must be enhanced or at least adjusted to the current conditions. The head of state voiced hope that the Black Sea grain deal would be maintained. The accord, brokered by the UN and Turkey in July, paved the way for Kyiv to resume grain exports though its Black Sea ports which had been closed down since the start of the Russian invasion. On the other hand, Moscow received guarantees for its own export of grain and fertilizers.
According to Reuters, the agreement helped avoid a global food crisis, given that Ukraine and Russia are the world’s top grain exporters while Russia is the world’ biggest producer of fertilizers. Based on the agreement, all ships that left Ukrainian ports were first checked in Istanbul before heading for their final destination. Russia however, has repeatedly voiced discontent with the way in which the agreement is being implemented, arguing it has difficulties in selling its fertilizers and food products. In an interview with Reuters, Russia’s Geneva UN ambassador said Moscow had sent a letter with its concerns to the UN General Secretary.
Meanwhile, Russia and the UN are holding talks on extending the agreement on the Black sea grain exports. According to Kyiv, based on the agreement signed this summer, Ukraine has so far exported almost 8 million tons of grain. Nevertheless, in the context of the war started by Russia, the price of grain has increased by almost one fifth this year, and the number of people affected by severe hunger due to the higher price of food is estimated at almost 50 million worldwide. (EE)
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