Deliberate sabotage of the grain corridor by the russian side and the challenges faced by the Ukrainian agricultural sector were the main topics of a series of meetings held by Mykola Solskyi, Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, in Berlin.
With the Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the United Arab Emirates, Mariam Almheiri, the Ukrainian Minister discussed the problems of farmers caused by the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The parties considered in detail the losses of the Ukrainian agricultural sector and the work of the agro-industrial complex in the conditions of war.
At a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas, the parties focused on the problem of slowing down inspections of ships with foodstaff in the Bosporus. Mykola Solskyi emphasized that the reasons for the delays had no objective grounds and were provoked solely by the russian side.
The Ukrainian Minister noted that each day of vessel downtime costs from USD 20,000 to 50,000, which is a burden for Ukrainian farmers. He also emphasized that the aggressor country's hypocrisy hides a single goal: to inflict not only a military defeat on Ukraine, but also an economic one.
The issues of the current work of the Ukrainian agricultural sector were also discussed at a meeting with the Minister of Nature and Nitrogen Policy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands, Christianne van der Wal-Zeggelink.
The Ukrainian Minister spoke about the difficulties with harvesting and the impact of the military invasion on the agricultural sector. Mykola Solskyi emphasized that the grain corridor was working de jure. De facto, inspections are being artificially hindered by the russian side. The parties also discussed in detail the implementation of the humanitarian food initiative Grain from Ukraine and further prospects for its expansion. They also considered the possibility of implementing support programs for Ukrainian farmers.
With the Minister of Agriculture of Ethiopia, Dr. Meles Mekonen Yimer, the parties discussed the possibilities of partnership and expansion of trade and economic cooperation in the agricultural sector. Mykola Solskyi also spoke about the recent visit of the delegation of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food to Africa, the main purpose of which had been to deepen international cooperation.
During the meeting with Christian Hofer, Director General of the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture, the parties discussed the difficulties of grain exports provoked by the russian side. The Ukrainian Minister also spoke about other problems faced by Ukrainian farmers in their work.
Mykola Solskyi emphasized that it was important for Ukraine to enlist international support in increasing the liquidity of the agricultural market. Therefore, the Minister called on the partners, together with the IFC and the World Bank, to assist in attracting lending institutions to finance Ukraine's agricultural sector. The Ministers discussed the possibilities of expanding support and ways to provide assistance to Ukraine from Switzerland. The parties agreed to return to a detailed discussion of the initiatives.
The Ukrainian Minister also met with representatives of German agricultural businesses operating in Ukraine. The meeting's participants focused on opportunities to expand trade and economic relations, implementation of joint projects and deepening of international cooperation.