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How US and Europe are Working to Bolster Ukraine’s Grain Exports

by Joshua Brown
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Officials from the United States and Europe visited Ukraine’s southern port of Izmail on Wednesday. This port is known for sending Ukrainian wheat all around the world. It could become much more important in the future if an agreement with Russia to allow grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports ends.

Izmail is a city that just recently went through upgrades with the help of the U.S and other sources. The grain from this city is loaded onto barges and goes down the Danube river in Romania until it reaches Constanta, a port near the Black Sea.

The U.S Ambassador Bridget Brink visited the port with Ukrainian and EU officials, as well as some Ukrainian grain companies, to talk about how they can increase exports from Danube ports.

Ukraine produces a lot of grain that is essential to people all over the world. Recently, Russia’s Foreign Minister stated they might stop part of a plan created by the UN and Turkey last year which would affect the delivery of grain from Ukraine.

The grain deal helps people in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia who don’t have enough food. But this agreement will finish on May 18 unless it is renewed. Mr Brink said we need to keep renewing it quickly or else problems could occur.

Russia is making it very hard for people to get food by controlling and stopping the ships coming in and out of the Black Sea. This hurts people who need this food as well as Ukraine’s economy, which relies on grain exports.

The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, spoke with the leader of China, Xi Jinping, on Wednesday about getting the grain deal done. China wants to help out Ukraine and Russia by being a negotiator between them. Zelenskyy’s website says he and Xi think it is important to implement the deal they agreed upon.

Oleksandr Kubrakov, who works as Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister, had a meeting with some people from the European Union and the Danube Commission (an organization that looks after navigation on rivers). During this meeting he said that new terminals in Ukraine are processing thousands of tons of agricultural products every day. He concluded by saying that this region and its ports have become really important for his country.

The trade of goods from one place to another happening along the Danube River in Europe has been increasing and putting a lot of stress on Romania. Alain Baron from the European Commission is going there soon to talk about it with their officials. He said he will continue working with them to be able to transport even more items through Romania for Ukraine’s benefit and maximize how well its infrastructures work.

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