First UN ship carrying Ukraine grain for Africa, preparing to leave.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative, which expires in a week, should be extended and expanded to allow Ukrainian agricultural products to return to traditional routes to southern European member states, Africa, and the Middle East, the head of the Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday after talks with Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Minister Ibrahim Yumakli in Ankara.
At the meeting, István Nagy pointed out that Turkey’s role is crucial in the Russia-Ukraine war, as it has excellent relations with both sides. He stressed that the war conflict is causing serious market difficulties and challenges for farmers due to the influx of Ukrainian grain across five frontline countries. Hungary will continue to support the EU Solidarity Corridor, which aims to assist the inland transport of Ukrainian grain. However, the corridor has not lived up to expectations and has proved unable to replace the Black Sea route.
The difficulties could be resolved if Ukrainian grain could once again reach its destinations in southern European member states, Africa, and the Middle East via traditional routes,
According to the statement, Nagy recalled that since the cereals agreement was signed in July last year, around 1,080 ships loaded with cereals and other foodstuffs had left three Ukrainian ports with more than 30 million tons of cargo, 50 percent of which was corn. The minister said the responsibility is historic, as extending the agreement and removing more than three ports from the blockade would serve both to protect the European countries concerned and to meet the demands of developing countries in need.
Otherwise, the EU cereals market could be completely paralyzed and food insecurity would force more and more people to emigrate, increasing migratory pressures and tensions.
On behalf of the five frontline countries, the minister asked the negotiating partners to help extend the agreement and free up more ports in addition to the current three.
Nagy invited his Turkish counterpart to Hungary for further consultations. He said that there are many issues in the relations between the two countries that need further discussion, as they are linked by a thousand strands. The minister mentioned livestock breeding and the food industry as examples, as well as the renewal of Hungarian agriculture, in which he is counting on Turkish investors, according to the ministry.
Via MTI; Featured image: Facebook/Trends