Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has informed President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy about talks with representatives of Bulgaria and Romania.
“This area of cross-border cooperation is obviously growing now. I thank our partners. This is the work of the sea corridor, the Danube export cluster, and the trade turnover between our countries in general,” Zelensky said in a video message on Monday.
“With Romania alone, we see the potential for growth to 4 million tons of trade by the end of this year. This is very powerful and supports not only our state, not only jobs in Ukraine, but also in partner countries,” the president said.
Zelenskyy is confident that “we will add Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, and the entire European Union to our cooperation.”
Romania will double the capacity of grain transit from Ukraine by the end of 2023, Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said following his visit to Ukraine, actmedia Romanian News Agency reported.
“Together with the government of Ukraine, we managed to find a jointly agreed formula to facilitate grain transit and protect the Romanian market and the interests of domestic farmers. In addition, at a joint meeting of our governments on October 18, we reaffirmed our commitment to double our transit capacity from 2 million tons per month to 4 million tons by the end of the year. And we will do this by continuing to invest in the infrastructure of the port of Constanta, the Danube ports, as well as in roads and railways”, Ciolacu said.
At the same time, he once again assured that grain exports from Ukraine to Romania will be carried out taking into account the interests of Romanian farmers.
The publication reminded that since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, almost 30 million tons of Ukrainian grain have transited through Romania.
Greek Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Christos Staikouras has initiated the launch of a railway connection between Greece, Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania to connect with Ukraine, Noi.md reports.
According to the report, the Greek minister proposed to launch the train during a summit in Varna (Bulgaria) on October 9 to diversify trade ties between Mediterranean ports and Ukraine.
The Greek government proposes that trains should run to the Greek ports of Alexandroupolis and Thessaloniki from the ports of Ruse in Bulgaria and Constanta in Romania, and then connections could be established with Moldova and Ukraine. This project can become an alternative option in trade relations between the two countries, strengthening transport links and international freight transportation, Greece believes.
The Greek Minister of Transport sent a letter of intent to European Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean, Bulgarian Minister of Finance Assen Vasilev, Bulgarian Minister of Transport and Communications Georgi Gvozdeykov, and Romanian Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Sorin Grindian.
As reported, the European Union is exploring alternative routes for Ukrainian grain through Italy and Greece.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will pay an official visit to Romania next week, Digi24 TV channel reported on Friday, citing its own sources.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy will meet with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and other officials of the country.
It is reported that this will be the first visit of the Ukrainian president to Romania since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The possibility of such a visit was previously announced by Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on the same TV channel.
Iohannis and Zelenskyy already met on Thursday in Granada, Spain, at the summit of the European Political Community.
Earlier, Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu also announced his visit to Ukraine. The prime minister and some government ministers will go to Kyiv for talks with representatives of the Ukrainian government to establish as many points of cooperation as possible. These include security, energy, agriculture, and many other issues that need to be addressed by the two countries.
Romanian and Ukrainian Agriculture Ministers Florin Barbu and Minister of Agricultural Policy and Food Nikolai Solsky have agreed on a new strict mechanism that will allow four types of grain to be imported to Romania again. The new system will require Ukrainian and Romanian farmers to obtain licenses, the Romanian newspaper Europa Libera Romania reported.
“Export licenses for Ukrainian companies will start in 30 days. During this time, Romania will also create a clear import licensing procedure for Romanian farmers and processors,” the publication quoted a Romanian minister as saying.
Another agreed rule is that imports are carried out only by farmers and processors, not by intermediaries, the sources say.
“A farmer who wants to import, for example, 1,000 tons of sunflower seeds from Ukraine must prove that he does not have that amount and that his animals cannot live without it,” a source close to the talks between the ministers explained to the newspaper.
Romanian authorities will check the stocks of farmers who ask to import grain from Ukraine.
Another condition is obtaining a quality certificate. The farmer will have to take a sample of the imported goods to the National Veterinary and Food Safety Authority (ANSVSA), where he will receive a certificate stating that the goods are of high quality and do not contain banned pesticides.
The licensing system for grain exporters/importers will be introduced within 30 days.
Barbu said that Kyiv will coordinate Ukraine’s proposal to license exporters with each of the five European countries that have banned imports of Ukrainian wheat, corn, sunflower and rapeseed since May.
As reported, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine held talks with the relevant ministries of Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria, which are studying the Ukrainian action plan and preparing comments on it. Next week, the next stage of Ukraine’s negotiations with neighboring countries will take place.
Romania is waiting for Ukraine to submit an action plan for effective measures to control grain exports “to prevent market distortion,” which Ukraine promised to submit by the end of Monday, September 18, according to a press release from the Bucharest government, local media reported on Friday evening.
The executive’s statement comes after the European Commission on Friday decided to lift restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports in five countries, including Romania, but asked Kyiv to develop a plan for effective measures to control transportation.
“Depending on the Action Plan presented by the Ukrainian side, the Romanian government will decide on appropriate measures to protect Romanian farmers,” the statement said.
“The government is in constant contact with the European Commission and the Ukrainian side to ensure that the new mechanism for restricting imports of Ukrainian products proposed by the EC prevents distortion of the markets of EU member states,” the statement said.