Lithuania on Monday urged the European Union to use Baltic ports to export Ukrainian grain after Moscow declined to renew a 2022 deal on their safe passage through the Black Sea.
Russia has said it is ready to return to the agreement, which has allowed the export of nearly 33 million tons of grain from Ukrainian ports, if its demands are met “in their totality.”
Moscow says its own deliveries of agricultural products and fertilizers under the deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey were hampered by Western sanctions.
A letter by three Lithuanian ministers to EU commissioners said Baltic ports could “serve as a reliable alternative for transiting Ukrainian products, including cereals.”
The letter, seen by AFP, said Baltic ports could help transport 25 million tons of grain annually.
It also asked the EU to cut red tape on Ukraine’s border with Poland, a member of the bloc.
Last week, Ukraine’s European neighbors urged the EU to extend a grain import ban until the end of the year, amid fears local farmers would be undercut by diverted Ukrainian supplies.
In June, Brussels agreed to allow Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania to restrict imports of grain from Ukraine through September.
Ukraine has accused Russia of stepping up attacks on ports, grain supplies and infrastructure vital to grain exports after refusing to renew the agreement.
Source : VOA