Ukraine: liberation of Snake Island is not only the return of our territory and military success, but also a step towards solving the global food crisis – Minister Kubrakov
The liberation of the Snake Island by the Armed Forces of Ukraine is not only the return of our territory and military success, but also a step towards the solution of the global food crisis. This was stated by the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov:
“Thanks to the return of control over the island, we have opened the traffic on the channel of the mouth of Bystre within the ship route from the Danube River to the Black Sea and back. This is the way to our Danube ports of Izmail, Reni and Ust-Dunaysk.
Now vessels, which will call our ports for loading with agricultural products, will be able to use two ways – the Romanian channel Sulina and the mouth of Bystre of the Danube River to enter the Black Sea.
This will substantially relieve the Sulina channel, the lack of alternatives and limited capacity of which leads to a long downtime of ships in the roads.
Development of logistics routes to the Danube ports is part of our strategy to develop the Danube Port Cluster, in particular, to increase its export potential, to optimize the port operation and to build auxiliary railway and road infrastructure.
Since March we have already managed to increase the grain handling at the Danube ports to almost 1 million tons a month. With the opening of the Bystre estuary canal, we expect to increase the transshipment in the ports even more significantly. We already see the positive dynamics today.
At the same time we are increasing the logistical capacity of railroads and road transport. We have increased grain transportation by railroad by 2 times, to more than 800 thousand tons, and the cargo flow at the road checkpoints has increased 2.6 times.
We are aware that with these important, but still tactical steps to overcome the food crisis we won’t be able to quickly replace those volumes that were taken up by sea ports. Before the full-scale invasion they accounted for more than 80% of agricultural exports.
For example, in June we managed to export about 2.5 million tons of agricultural products, which is more than 3 times less than the monthly demand. We still need to export about 20 million tons of grain from the last harvest.
It’s a task we could handle without seaports, if we had the time. However, we are pressed by the new harvest, for which we need to make room in our granaries by exporting the blocked volumes there.
At the recent talks in Istanbul, we felt progress, which we expect to develop into a full-fledged agreement with security guarantees from the international community.
It is already clear to the world that global food security depends on these talks, and for millions of people in Africa and Asia, it is also a matter of life and death. According to UN estimates, there are more than 400 million such people.
The food crisis provoked by Russia is another dimension of the war between Ukraine and Russia and the entire civilized world. But we will definitely win. The port blockade has created enormous problems for Ukraine and the world, and in spite of this, we continue our resistance and develop alternative logistic routes.
We are grateful to the Ukrainian Armed Forces Navy, which, at the request of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, joined in organizing the transportation of agricultural products.
We thank the defense forces, which not only defend Ukraine, but also protect the whole world from Russian terror,” Kubrakov said.