EU Spokesperson: Over 40 Million Tonnes of Ukrainian Agricultural Products Transported Through 'Solidarity Routes'
The European Union's solidarity routes have facilitated the safe transportation of over 40 million metric tonnes of Ukrainian agricultural products, with this quantity continuing to rise.
This statement was made by the spokesperson for the EU's Foreign Policy Service, Peter Stano, in an interview with the Ukrainian National Broadcaster.
He emphasized the importance of recognizing how these solidarity routes have enabled the export of more agricultural products than could be transported through the 'Black Sea Grain Initiative'.
However, Stano added that the aforementioned initiative, due to the lack of proper navigation in the Black Sea, remains a temporary solution.
"We are striving to do everything possible, as it assists Ukraine and people around the world who rely on the import of Ukrainian agricultural products. Therefore, we are also considering other ways in which we can support Ukraine, increase supply volumes, reduce costs, and enhance the speed and efficiency," said the EU spokesperson.
Odesa Seaport Authority reported that over 1000 vessels carrying 32.9 million tonnes of agricultural products have departed from the ports of Odesa under the 'grain agreement' in the past 11 months.
Recalling, in May 2022, the EU's Chief Diplomat, Josep Borrell, stated that the EU would aid Ukraine in exporting grains blocked by Russia in Ukrainian seaports by opening "corridors" for Ukrainian crops.
In May of this year, however, the European Commission banned the import of wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower from Ukraine to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Romania at the insistence of these countries.
This ban was extended until September 15, 2023, on June 5.
On July 19 of the current year, following Russia's withdrawal from the 'grain agreement', the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, stated that the EU would work towards ensuring food security "through all available means", including "solidarity corridors" on the borders with Ukraine.
Previously, Ukrainian agrarian and business associations proposed to the European Commission the optimization of alternative routes - 'solidarity routes' - for grain exports from Ukraine to European ports with subsequent transportation to third countries.
The agrarians suggested that the European Commission compensate a portion of the costs for European carriers and ports handling Ukrainian grain, as well as introduce "green corridors" for Ukrainian agricultural products to the seaports of the Baltic countries, the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, Germany, and Slovenia.