France and Romania signed an agreement on Monday, September 13th, to boost grain exports from Ukraine.
The Romanian prime minister Nicolae Ciucă expressed his support for the liason.”I welcome the signing of the agreement between the Romanian and French Ministries of Transport to facilitate the transit of grain from Ukraine. One of the priorities is to increase the capacities of the Port of Galati. We are accelerating our efforts for global food security,” Ciucă said.
After France, Romania is the EU’s second-largest exporter of wheat to non-EU countries, and the largest in corn exports. The country has been one of the alternative routes used to export Ukrainian grain since the start of the Russian invasion.
The deal covers exports by land, sea, and river.
Politico reports that according to the draft of the deal seen by the news outlet, Paris has committed to cooperate on increasing efficiency at the port of Galati, equipping border points in northern Romania for grain transport, maximising the use and capacity of grain containers stationed in the port of Constanța, as well as increasing the capacity in the Sulina canal. The agreement will provide pilings to optimise ship traffic.
Additionally, the agreement looks beyond the immediate necessity to include help in building a medium-term strategy on the axes of the corridor between Romania and Ukraine. France promised in the agreement to provide funding for the initial technical expertise and to work with Bucharest to identify financing for the future.
The grain will also be shipped beyond Europe to countries, particularly in Africa, that need it.
“Tomorrow I will sign an agreement with Romania to allow Ukraine to send even more grain, because it is an essential resource for the country and for many other countries that benefit from it,” said France’s Transport Minister Clément Beaune told French radio FranceInter, the day before the agreement was signed.
The agreement comes days after Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to limit transports of grain through the Black Sea, accusing Europe of keeping the grain for itself instead of providing wheat, corn, and other cereals to nations in need.
In a regular public update on the war in Ukraine on Sunday, the British defence intelligence bulletin released a statement declaring that “Putin’s claim is not true. According to UN figures, around 30% has been supplied to low and middle-income countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.”Snippet: The grain will be shipped beyond Europe to countries, particularly in Africa, that need it.
Bridget Ryder is Spain-based writer. She has written on politics, environment, and culture for American and international publications. She holds degrees in Spanish and Catholic Studies.