Russia's blockade of Black Sea routes requires strengthening solidarity lanes - Borrell

Russia's blockade of Black Sea routes requires strengthening solidarity lanes - Borrell

Russia's refusal to participate in the Black Sea Grain Initiative and Russia's blocking of transport routes in the Black Sea require greater efforts from member states to ensure the effective functioning of the EU's solidarity lanes on the borders with Ukraine to increase the volume of Ukrainian grain exports.

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said this in Brussels before the start of the Foreign Affairs Council, Ukrinform reports.

Borrell stated this in response to a press request to comment on Poland's intention to close its borders if the EU does not extend the embargo on the export of Ukrainian grain and other food to neighboring countries.

In addition to sea routes, there are also solidarity lanes, which allow transporting a lot of grain from ports on the Black Sea and directing it across the borders of member countries that are Ukraine's neighbors. Since the sea route is closed, it is necessary to increase the export capacity of Ukrainian grain through European ports, which means greater efforts to help Ukraine, Borrell said.

Read also: Russian shelling of Odesa port will lead to global food crisis - Borrell

More needs to be done to open European borders and simplify transport connections for the purpose of transporting Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports. This will require greater involvement from member states. The EU has already done a lot. But more needs to be done, the high representative of the EU added.

As reported, the Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki said the day before that if the European Commission (EC) refuses to extend the ban on the import of grain from Ukraine to the five EU countries after September 15, Poland will unilaterally close the border.

Since the beginning of Russian war of aggression, over 35 million tonnes of grain and food exports have been exported from Ukraine with the help of solidarity lanes.

Read also: Russia could target civilian ships in Black Sea and blame Ukraine, U.S. says

In May 2023, the EC banned the import of wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds from Ukraine to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Romania at the insistence of these countries. On June 5, the ban was extended until September 15, 2023.

On July 19, the Ministers of Agriculture of the mentioned five EU countries adopted a joint statement demanding the extension of the EC's decision on protective measures against the import of Ukrainian food to the mentioned countries until the end of the year.

First Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Economy Yulia Svyrydenko emphasized that if the EC continues the ban on the import of Ukrainian grain after September 15, Ukraine will be forced to consider mirror measures.

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