Romania to double Ukrainian grain transit capacity by the end of 2023
The Romanian and Ukrainian prime ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding a few days ago, targeting the doubling of transit capacity for Ukrainian grain using Romanian rail and port infrastructure. According to the two state representatives, the new deal secures both grain export and Romanian farmers’ interests.
The two states have been holding high-level negotiations since the Grain Deal broke during the summer. Their shared objective was to keep grain loads transit via Romania flowing without causing capacity issues to the network and disturbing the competition with the domestic farming sector.
For this purpose, the first step they took was establishing a special licencing system for imported grain. “Our help is to help grain transit,” stated Marcel Ciolacu, Romanian Prime Minister, in September. “Together, we managed to find a way to facilitate both grain transit and to protect the interests of Romanian farmers,” he commented after the recent deal.
On its behalf, the European Commission applauded and welcomed the bilateral initiative that will secure the transit of Ukrainian products, at least for the time being. It is important to note that the deal arrived in the backdrop of Ukrainian farmers demanding the application of more restrictions on Ukrainian products and the reintroduction of an import ban on grain.
Another critical aspect of the Romanian-Ukrainian MoU is that it will also implement plans to improve shared border crossing between the two countries to meet Ukraine’s export needs. A few days ago, the EU released some additional funds that could be used mainly on port infrastructure and improve connectivity between the two countries.