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How much does Romania's solidarity cost?

Колко струва солидарността на Румъния?
Most EU countries are opposed to extending a ban on Ukrainian grain imports beyond mid-September, four EU diplomats told Politico, rejecting calls from the five eastern member states to keep the restrictions in place. It is possible that Zelensky's words are behind their negative opinion on the matter.

"If we have to fight in arbitration to defend ourselves, we will," he commented to the Three Seas forum, referring to the export restrictions allowed by the EC for the five member states of the community.

Ukrainian grain products - wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower - were banned from markets in Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia under a deal struck with the European Commission earlier this year to protect farmers from an influx of Ukrainian produce.

The restrictions are due to expire on September 15, but affected countries are pushing for their extension until at least the end of the year. The question is how united they remain in their demands. While Poland is pushing vehemently for an extension, other countries such as Romania remain increasingly passive. Apparently, after the turn in the policy of the new Romanian government, the priorities were also revised.

"Romania provides the main export route for Ukrainian grain. Since the beginning of the war, almost 25 million tons of agricultural products from Ukraine have been exported through Romania. It is the most important export route," President Klaus Iohannis said at the Three Seas Summit.

"We will increase alternative routes, we accepted Ukrainian sea transport through Romanian territorial waters, we will continue to strengthen exports by rail and road transport and thus prevent world hunger, because, as is known, Ukraine is one of the most important exporters of grain in the world," Iohannis added.

“We faced many challenges as our logistics were not ready for this volume of exports. We were able to change things very quickly, we were able to offer Ukraine very good conditions, tax-free conditions, and this continues. Obviously, the attacks on Ukraine and the Danube ports are a huge problem. This is a huge problem, because it is an illegal act of war, to attack civilian infrastructure, and this will obviously slow down Ukrainian exports in some way," concluded the head of state.

Naturally, the price of this support was requested before the European Commission with the request for a new subsidy for the transport of grain from Ukraine. The attractive price with which Romania fought at the last Egyptian auctions also left many doubts about the true origin of the grain.

It is recalled that the General Supply Authority (GASC) of Egypt, the entity responsible for the strategic supply of wheat on behalf of the Egyptian state, purchased a quantity of 120,000 tonnes of wheat from Romania and 120,000 tonnes of wheat from France in an international auction. The goods from Romania will be shipped between October 25th and November 10th.

A week earlier, GASC bought another 60,000 tonnes of wheat from Romania. Even then, Romanian wheat had the lowest price at the auction.

At the beginning of the month, the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture announced that, through the Unirea chamber of commerce, it would support Romanian farmers to get a better price for the cereals they sell and for the purchases of fertilizers from Egypt. Thus, the state-owned company will negotiate directly with the Egyptian country that imports grain through the General Authority for Supply (GASC).

In terms of trade, at the beginning of the week the prices of grain for delivery to the port of Constanta were: bread wheat - 210 EUR/ton, feed wheat - 197 EUR/ton, corn - 185 EUR/ton, barley - 175 EUR/ton, sunflower – 386 dollars/ton.

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