Croatian PM Once Again Offers Croatian Ports for Ukrainian Grain Export

Katarina Anđelković

croatian ports - rijeka
Photo: Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

September 7, 2023 – On Wednesday, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković once again offered the possibility of exporting Ukrainian grain through Croatian ports after the collapse of the UN agreement that allowed food from Ukraine to reach the world market. In July, Moscow pulled out of a year-old agreement that created export corridors for tens of millions of tons of grain and fertilizer, accusing the West of simultaneously obstructing its grain and fertilizer exports.

Speaking at the summit of the Three Seas Initiative in Bucharest, writes Index, Plenković again offered Croatian ports as an alternative for the export of Ukrainian grain. “Croatia sees itself as the Mediterranean gateway to Central Europe, and that is why we have offered more opportunities in our ports, especially in our strategic port of Rijeka,” said the Croatian Prime Minister.

He added that the government is working on a railway connection between Rijeka on the Adriatic Sea and the port of Vukovar on the Danube.

Moscow has conditions for the agreement to be renewed

The agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea is seen as key to addressing global food insecurity and curbing grain prices. Ukraine is also highly dependent on export earnings. But the Kremlin was unhappy with how the pact, officially known as the Black Sea Grain Initiative, was being implemented.

Moscow wants barriers to Russian food and fertilizer exports lifted in exchange for further cooperation and is seeking to ease Western sanctions on payments, logistics, and ship insurance.

Since withdrawing from the agreement, Russia has stepped up drone and missile attacks on Ukrainian river ports that have become alternatives to the Black Sea, and on storage infrastructure.

Ukraine says tens of thousands of tons of grain were also destroyed in the process. In recent weeks, Kyiv has successfully organized the passage of ships through the Black Sea Corridor, despite the threat of attack. Russia has threatened to treat all ships calling at Ukrainian ports as potential military targets.


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