As the brutal war in Eastern Europe intensified, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda declared that grain from Ukraine cannot be transported to the Baltic ports via Belarus. He further stressed that other alternatives must be sought as Belarus supported Russia’s unjustified attack on Ukraine.
“In my opinion, the situation has only recently deteriorated, and Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has shown that he is in the same boat as Vladimir Putin on this heinous aggression. My opinion and assessment does not change – we need to look for other alternatives to transport Ukrainian grain,” Nauseda told the Delfi news portal.
Nauseda further said that he saw no prospect of resuming the transit of Belarusian fertilizers through Lithuania, a condition that Lukashenko set for the delivery of Ukrainian grain through Belarus. He stressed that the European Union imposed very specific sanctions on fertilizers, which Lithuania tightened. “Should we close our eyes and say that Lukashenko suddenly became a much more acceptable leader or did something good, so we need to lift these sanctions?” asked President Nauseda.
Ukraine does not export the harvest by rail via Belarus to ports on the Baltic Sea
In particular, grain and other Ukrainian products are currently being brought to the Lithuanian city of Klaipeda via Poland. On June 3, the transit of Ukrainian grain to Baltic ports was discussed by Lukashenko and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, but Minsk insisted on Belarusian exports. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he has no intention of exporting the harvest by rail via Belarus to ports on the Baltic Sea. He has also accused Russia of blocking around 22 million tons of grain, including barley, sunflower, etc., in Ukrainian ports.
Ukraine exports grain to the world in alternative ways
It is worth mentioning here that important seaports in Ukraine have been closed since the beginning of the conflict at the end of February. Since then, Ukraine has been exporting grain to the rest of the world through alternative routes. Meanwhile, the Russian government has said it will only consider opening access to Ukraine’s Black Sea ports “if sanctions against Moscow are reviewed.” UN food chief David Beasley had previously called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to open Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea. The World Food Program reportedly supplies food to around 125 million people around the world and buys half of its grain from Ukraine.
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