France and Turkey propose rival plans to remove grain from Ukraine (The Guardian)

France and Turkey are proposing rival plans to export Ukrainian grain, as failures so far have raised concerns about the potential impact on the world’s poorest people. While Emmanuel Macron favors land routes from Odessa to Romania, Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to use the sea routes through the Black Sea, reports The Guardian.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has warned that a timetable for transporting grain from Ukraine to the start of next week’s G7 summit is vital. “A series of deadlines is fast approaching and the drama of a world famine is approaching, naturally concentrated in the poorest parts of the world, especially in Africa,” he warned after talks on Thursday. in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Italy supports the idea of ​​a UN resolution, so far rejected by Russia, which would allow a UN convoy to monitor grain ships leaving the port of Odessa from the Black Sea, which is under Ukrainian control, as well as other ports to the Bosphorus. But French President Emmanuel Macron is skeptical that such a UN resolution will be accepted and instead proposes a massive intensification of grain exports through Romanian ports.

Turkish version

In a change of approach, Turkey is now promoting the option of safe routes from three Ukrainian ports, even if the ports have not been demining.

It is estimated that more than 400 mines should be removed, but Ukraine fears that this would open up a corridor for Russian ships to its ports, and therefore wants strong UN security guarantees in the event of a Russian attack. surprise.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday that “since the location of the mines is known, certain security lines will be established in three ports”. He explained that merchant ships, possibly guided by Ukrainians, could come and go safely without the need to remove mines, and Turkish officials could inspect merchant ships for possible smuggled arms shipments, allaying fears. Russia.

However, David Arahamia, a member of the Ukrainian negotiating team, questioned the plan. “Our military is against it, so we have very limited optimism about this plan,” he said at a conference in Washington.

It would take two weeks to clear the ports and then the silos would have to be emptied in time to prepare for September and the new harvest.

The French version

President Macron, who visited Romania earlier this week, urged increased land and rail routes to the port of Constanta, about 450 km south of Odessa. But the port of Constanța is almost full to the brim, he notes The Guardian.

“Odessa is a few tens of kilometers from Romania, and through Romania we could have access to the Danube and the railway,” Macron said. “We are in the process of creating a kind of connection point from which we could export these grains much more intensely, faster and more massively than we do today,” the French president explained.

Before the war, most of the grain produced by Ukraine, one of the world’s largest suppliers, was exported from seven ports on the Black Sea. According to the World Food Program, in the eight months before the conflict began, about 51 million tons of grain passed through these ports, and the trade value of Ukrainian grain exports amounted to $ 47 billion a year.

The American version

Joe Biden proposed separately the construction of additional silos on the border with Poland, in an attempt to prevent Russia from possibly taking over Ukrainian grain, given that Ukraine accuses Russia of stealing “several hundred thousand tons” from the areas where occupied them.

Another part of Ukrainian grain is exported through Baltic ports. However, according to a Ukrainian estimate, only 20 percent of Ukrainian exports that are normally shipped through Black Sea ports could be transported by rail to Baltic ports. In terms of road transport, its costs have increased fivefold last year.

Editor: Luana Pavaluca

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