Galati, Romania – The United States joined Romanian, Ukrainian, Moldovan, and European Union officials to support the export of Ukrainian grain. This will address global food insecurity caused by Russia’s decision to withdraw from the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI).
Russia’s unilateral withdrawal from the BSGI and attacks on ports and grain silos in Ukraine have disrupted grain markets and denied food to people around the world – including those in the Global South and some of the most food insecure countries. The BSGI exported more than 32 million tons of grain since starting last August, and food prices have risen approximately 10% since Russia terminated the BSGI. While Russia’s callous weaponization of food has severe consequences for vulnerable populations worldwide, the United States, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, and the European Union are determined to counter Russia’s barbaric actions and work towards viable solutions. This multi-lateral gathering of high-level representatives is shows our shared commitment to getting Ukrainian grain to market despite Russia’s efforts.
During the meeting, participants expressed appreciation for Romania and Moldova’s continued support of Ukraine and their leadership in assisting their neighbor in the context of Russia’s full-scale invasion and continued missile and drone attacks, including on ports and grain. Romania and Moldova’s facilitation of the export of millions of tons of Ukrainian grain has been instrumental in preventing millions of people around the world from going hungry.
The United States remains committed to partnering with the government and people of Ukraine – including through financial support and supplies, expansion of alternative export routes, and the modernization of Ukraine’s border crossings. The United States will also contribute to improving critical infrastructure for rail and road transportation and transshipment, expanding access to train car parts and railway assembly lines, and assisting the private sector along the Danube in enhancing export capacity. To further support regional efforts, the United States pledged financial assistance to Ukraine’s neighbors to acquire vessels such as pilot boats, and to facilitate cross-border transshipment and transit.
These measures mark progress towards increasing grain exports from Ukraine. Still, the full responsibility for the surge in food prices and the heightened risk to vulnerable populations across the world rests with Russia. Russia blames sanctions for the food shortage it created. This is false. The international community has not sanctioned Russian agricultural exports, including fertilizer. The United States calls on Russia to cease attacking Ukrainian cities and infrastructure immediately, to rejoin the Black Sea Grain Initiative, and extend, expand, and fully implement its agreement.
Today’s meeting was attended by U.S. Department of State Sanctions Coordinator Ambassador Jim O’Brien, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink, U.S. Ambassador to Romania Kathleen Kavalec, and Acting Deputy Chief of U.S. Mission to Moldova Mary Alexander, who joined Romanian Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Sorin Grindeanu, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Bolea, and European Commission Mobility and Transport Director General Magda Kopczynska.
Source : US Embassy