Global food security is at risk due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. European countries have taken several steps to allow the release of 20 million tons of grain that is still blocked in Ukraine. Spain led the implementation of a project to remove 8,000 tons from Ukraine between July and September.
In collaboration with France, Luxembourg, and Poland, the initiative involves transporting the grain by train from Ukraine to Spain, where it can then be exported by ship to other nations. The intention is for the Ukrainian authorities to bring the grain closer towards the border with Poland. Official sources claim that the Ukrainian convoys date back from Soviet times. Their track gauge is too large to allow them to travel on the European train gauge.
It will then be loaded onto French or Spanish trains that will cross many countries to reach Spain. There, the grain will be stored at silos in different ports along the Mediterranean coast. From there, you can take a boat to your destination country.
It is not an accident that Spain was chosen as the destination country. Spain has large storage capacities and modern silos. Official sources have confirmed that Spain will save these cereals at a minimal cost, and that the price would be only a few thousand Euros. This will allow silos in Ukraine to be empty for next harvest, which was a concern for many farmers.
The pilot operation will start July 15, with 600 tons of grain. The number of trains will grow and the total amount of grain transported by them is expected to increase from 600 tons in July to 8,000 tons in September.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated Friday that his government does not object to Ukraine's potential entry into the European Union. We have nothing to do with it. It is not a military bloc, but a political block, which is different from NATO. The president stated that any country has the right to join economic associations. He spoke at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg. This forum brought together representatives from America, Asia, and Africa despite international sanctions. Putin said that Brussels will decide if it is in their best interest to host a country that will require large subsidies that others EU members might not be willing to provide. The Russian leader said that kyiv, as well as the Ukrainian population, should assess whether they are comfortable being part of an "association where they run the risk to become a semicolony."