Poland will help Ukraine grain exports, but has limits says PM
Poland is ready to help Ukraine export its grain to avert a global food crisis, Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, has said.
But he added such efforts will unlikely replace the exporting capacity of Ukraine's traditional Black Sea routes.
At a press conference with the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, in Warsaw on Wednesday, Morawiecki reiterated his government's commitment to helping Ukraine export its grain.
"We're ready to help Ukraine to transport it," he said. "It is an important issue because failure to take grain out (from Ukraine) may lead to huge deficits in access to grain, to wheat in North Africa and the Middle East.
"And this may lead to hunger, high inflation and a severe economic crisis in those countries, in countries of North Africa, and that in turn may translate into increased migration to Europe and increased tensions between Europe and Africa," Morawiecki continued.
But Poland's railways cannot take all Ukraine's grain to the country's seaports on the Baltic Sea, which also have limited capacity, the prime minister added.
"You should realise that nothing can replace the capacity of grain shipments through Odessa and other Black Sea ports," he said.
Russia and Ukraine signed a landmark deal last Friday, brokered by Turkey and the UN, to unblock grain exports from Ukraine's Black Sea ports and ease the international food crisis.
But Morawiecki said he had doubts about the real outcomes of the agreement, recalling a Russian attack on Odessa which took place just one day after signing the agreement.
"This shows that such agreements are not fully viable," he said, adding that "it is the way Russia does things."