Poland helps Ukraine export grain says minister

Mirosław Trembecki/PAP

Poland has been helping Ukraine export its grain after Russia cut off Ukraine’s usual export routes through its Black Sea ports, Henryk Kowalczyk, Poland's agriculture minister, has said.

Ukraine's inability to export grain via its ports owing to the Russian invasion has increased the risk of global food insecurity, and helped drive up food prices around the world.

"First of all, the transports are already taking place," Kowalczyk told the private radio RMF FM on Thursday.

The minister said the grain is being transported by road and rail, with the latter being more important.

The main problem is the difference in rail gauges between Poland and Ukraine, Kowalczyk said.

"We have to reload (the cargo), or re-set the rail cars, so it is a bottleneck," the minister said.

He admitted that Poland does not have sufficient transport capacity for the purpose.

"This is why the European Commission (EC) has shown interest and offered help," Kowalczyk said, adding that the EC "may provide rail cars and means of transport from other countries."