Ukraine admits possibility of creating humanitarian corridor for export of grain via Belarus to ports of Baltic countries
Ukraine does not rule out a possibility of creating a humanitarian corridor through Belarus for the supply of Ukrainian grain to the ports of the Baltic States due to the tight deadlines for establishing export logistics, Deputy Minister of Economy and Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka has said.
"The Baltic ports of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have the greatest ability to transport commodities. Compatibility of railway routes in this direction technically simplifies transportation ... If we raise the question of unblocking our ports, then theoretically we can raise the question of humanitarian corridors through Belarus," he said during a discussion organized on Friday by the Price of the State Project.
At the same time, politically, this option is even less acceptable than unblocking ports. No one can guarantee that deliveries through Belarusian territory are safer than by sea: the movement of troops is recorded there, there are problems with the predictability of Belarus' actions, Kachka noted.
"At the same time, Ukraine does not reject any options. If we did not have time pressure, we could concentrate exclusively on the western border. But time is running out – the issue needs to be resolved before autumn," the trade representative said.
Ukraine applied for help in this matter to the FAO, the World Trade Organization, the UN.
"What will be provided by international pressure from third parties will be used ... If their guarantees allow traveling through Belarus, we will transport through Belarus, if by sea – even better," Kachka said.
According to the Ministry of Economy, it will be impossible to fully ensure exports through the western border in the next three months, although this can be done in the coming years.
Currently, Ukraine is experiencing not only logistical, but also bureaucratic difficulties with the export of grain through the EU. Thus, buyers of Ukrainian grain in the European Union require an outdated package of documents. This is evidence that there was no tradition of trading such goods through Romania, Hungary or Poland.