Poland will again allow Ukrainian grain transports overland to Lithuania from Wednesday, for shipment to Africa and the Middle East. Poland will no longer stop those exports at the border 'for inspection purposes', but customs formalities will be carried out by Lithuania during transhipment at their Baltic Sea port of Klaipeda.
Warsaw and Kiev announced on Tuesday that they have agreed to speed up the transit of Ukrainian grain exports through Poland, as a first step in resolving their 'grain war'. It is not yet known whether Hungary and Slovakia will follow Poland's example and also give up their opposition to the resumption of grain overland transports.
The three-country agreement between Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania means that Ukrainian grain exports - mainly destined for markets in Africa and the Middle East - will pass directly through Poland instead of first being checked at the Poland-Ukraine border, the Polish Minister of Agriculture Robert Telus to journalists. This allows the European 'solidarity corridors' to be put back into use.
After the Russian invasion early last year, Ukrainian exports from the Black Sea ports came to a standstill, and were then partly resumed with Russian approval but then halted again. Kyiv has now introduced alternative transport routes, mainly by inland vessels on the Danube, to the Romanian port city of Constanta.
Moreover, despite the Russian naval blockade, a Ukrainian port in the far south-west of the country has been put into use again for a few days. Several ships have now sailed 'unhindered' from there, with the ships remaining 'below the coast' within the territorial waters of the NATO countries Romania and Bulgaria. A week ago, a freighter loaded with cement hit a mine.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen yesterday spoke with Ukrainian President Zelensky about expanding transport options across European territory.