MADRID – Spain will lead an initiative, which will also include France, Poland, and Luxembourg, to transfer war-blocked grain crops from Ukraine to Spanish ports by train.
There they are stored in silos for export, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced on Friday. In the first phase, which will start in mid-July, up to 8,000 tons of grain are expected to be moved.
Pedro Sánchez warned of the food crisis, which is the result of the war that Putin has unleashed in Ukraine and which could affect hundreds of millions of people on all continents. That is what the Prime Minister of Spain did at the end of the European Council in Brussels.
As Sánchez said, the amount of Ukrainian grain blocked by the Russians is estimated at more than 20 million tons. “It is absolutely necessary to achieve the uptake on the world markets of Ukrainian cereals (…)”, said Sánchez.
Sánchez, along with the European Council as a whole, has urged Russia to unblock Ukrainian ports. In addition, he expressed his full support for the initiative in this regard by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.
The west cannot stand by and watch
According to Sánchez, the west cannot stand by and watch what happens in the Black Sea. He also pointed to the initiative of the government of Spain for a public-private partnership project to get grains from Ukraine by train. Consequently, Spain will lead the project. The governments of Poland, Luxembourg, and France have already pledged their cooperation.
“The false Russian story”
During the pilot phase, up to almost 8,000 tons of grain will be taken from Ukraine. This is stored in silos in Spanish ports for later export to other Mediterranean countries. Sánchez also took the opportunity to reject “the false Russian story” of the Putin regime that blames the European Union for the problem because of the economic sanctions imposed. “If anyone is to blame, it is Putin, as European sanctions do not affect Ukrainian or Russian food exports in any way,” the head of government emphasised.
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