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Bulgaria and Greece discuss Ukrainian grain export through railways

Bulgaria and Greece discuss Ukrainian grain export through railways Prime Minister of Bulgaria Nikolai Denkov (Getty Images)

The Prime Ministers of Greece and Bulgaria, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Nikolai Denkov, discussed the export of Ukrainian grain following Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea grain deal, as Mediapool reports.

Denkov said that they are currently exploring the option to transport Ukrainian grain via trains through Bulgarian territory to Greek ports, though he did not provide further details.

According to the media, the plan involves Bulgarian trains loading grain at the Ukrainian-Romanian border and then transporting it through Romanian and Bulgarian territories to the Greek port of Alexandroupolis.

However, there are uncertainties surrounding which Bulgarian carriers would be able to transport such a volume of grain, given the shortage of locomotives and freight wagons in Bulgaria's state-owned railways. It is also doubtful that private railway companies have sufficient rolling stock to undertake such transportation.

The Bulgarian Prime Minister mentioned that Greece has already started developing railway lines of particular interest to Bulgaria, connecting Kulata and Svilengrad. Improving the technical condition of these two routes would facilitate increased transport of goods from Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, and Moldova to Greek ports.

Russia's exit from the grain deal

Last week, the Kremlin announced it suspended the grain deal, which allowed the export of Ukrainian foodstuffs via the Black Sea.

In response, President Zelenskyy offered Turkey and the United Nations to continue Ukrainian exports without involving Russia. The Ukrainian government is currently developing a comprehensive plan for grain transportation.