KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine needs to start work to make its Danube transport canal deeper as early as this 12 months to develop its different routes to export grain, Deputy Minister of Renovation and Infrastructure Yuriy Vaskov mentioned on Tuesday.
Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia final 12 months, has already elevated the depth of its southwestern Bystre Canal on the Danube River to six.5 metres from 3.9 metres with the purpose of accelerating meals exports from its river ports.
The push for different export routes has taken on urgency in the course of the conflict after Russia blocked Ukraine’s conventional export route through the Black Sea and solely a restricted quantity is shipped out below a deal mediated by Turkey and the United Nations.
Vaskov informed a grain convention on Tuesday that the brand new depth of the Bystre Canal allowed ships to cease at Ukraine’s Danube ports, however that it was nonetheless not sufficient for loaded ships which have to make use of Romania’s Sulina Canal, which is deeper.
He mentioned Ukraine wish to prolong the depth to 7.2 metres, just like the Romanian canal, and meant to carry talks with European Union officers on the matter within the close to future.
Romania has mentioned it’s involved that any work on the waterway via the shared Danube Delta space may threaten wildlife on the UNESCO World Heritage Website and break worldwide environmental safety treaties.
Ukraine has been transporting grain on the Bystre Canal because it develops different routes for its exports.
1 / 4 of Ukraine’s agricultural exports at the moment cross via its Danube ports, whereas half exits through its Black Sea ports and one other quarter traverses Ukraine’s western land border.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk Modifying by Tom Balmforth and Mark Potter)