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Moldova to assist Ukraine with grain transit, President Sandu says

Moldova to assist Ukraine with grain transit, President Sandu says President of Moldova Maia Sandu (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Moldova is aiming to support Ukraine in its grain transit efforts, actively seeking a solution that can both meet the needs of its local farmers and provide assistance to Ukraine, as the President of Moldova Maia Sandu said in an interview with RFI.

"The Republic of Moldova offered Ukraine assistance with grain transit from the beginning of the war. Not just now, when the Danube ports were bombed. It's a complex issue. We are trying to find a solution," she said.

According to her, Moldova is holding negotiations with Ukraine, Romania, and the European Union Commission to understand how the country can align the interests of its farmers and ensure grain transit from Ukraine. Sandu is confident that Moldova must help Ukraine, as it is currently ensuring Moldova's peace.

The President notes that the government will continue discussions in this format.

"And obviously, one of the solutions is rapid investment in transport infrastructure, in military-maritime infrastructure to increase the capacity during this period. Because we want to increase our exports, we want to develop our infrastructure, and we can do this, with the resources of the European Union," she said.

Sandu points out that there is also an issue with Moldovan farmers who even before these crises caused by the war did not have sufficient export avenues. She admits that Moldova's railway and military-maritime infrastructure is not well-developed. And now, with these quite substantial volumes of food coming from Ukraine, the situation has become more complicated.

The country's leader also comments on the claims of Moldovan farmers, as they insist on banning grain imports from Ukraine and threaten to resume protests in the capital city center.

Sandu emphasizes the necessity to assist Ukraine. Moreover, the government has taken measures to support Moldovan producers. "It is important to ensure that state support is distributed evenly," she added.

She also says that while the war in Ukraine continues, there are risks for Moldova as well. The country closely cooperates with Romania, the United States, and NATO member states to strengthen its defense system. Therefore, Moldova relies on their support in challenging conditions. Currently, Moldovan citizens are safe.

"As it was before, we enjoy peace and security thanks to Ukraine, we owe much to the courage of the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian army. We are grateful to them for this peace," Sandu added.

Grain deal collapse

In July, Russia announced its withdrawal from the grain deal, claiming that its conditions were not met. Following the exit, the occupiers began shelling Ukrainian ports and grain infrastructure in the south of Ukraine.

Recently, Ukraine announced the launching of temporary corridors for trading vessels in the Black Sea, despite the threat from Russians. These routes are primarily intended for civilian vessels that have been in Ukrainian ports such as Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Pivdennyi since the beginning of the war.

On August 16, the first ship after the suspension of the grain deal departed from Odesa port. It has already arrived in Istanbul.

Meanwhile, several countries are working on alternative routes for grain exports.