NewsBlockade for grain in the EU until September - DW - 25.07.2023

    Blockade for grain in the EU until September – DW – 25.07.2023

    The essentials in brief:

    • EU Commissioner: More grain negotiations will follow
    • Ukraine complains about the use of cluster bombs in Kostyantynivka
    • Anti-personnel mines at Zaporizhia NPP
    • EU pays out new billion-dollar loan to Kiev
    • Kyiv reports again defense against night drone attacks

    A temporary ban on grain imports from Ukraine to neighboring Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia will initially not be extended beyond September 15, as requested by the five EU countries. This was announced by the responsible EU Commissioner, Janusz Wojciechowski, following a meeting of agriculture ministers in Brussels. “But I am convinced that we will have to reassess the situation in September,” added Wojciechowski.

    After Russia canceled the grain agreement with Ukraine, the European Union is discussing alternative export routes. Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia are opposed to agricultural imports from the Ukraine because they fear a renewed fall in prices for domestic agriculture. Ukrainian grain, which was actually only supposed to be transported through Poland, caused problems in June because it nevertheless made it onto the Polish market and triggered a drop in prices. In protest, Polish farmers blocked the border crossing to the neighboring country to the east.

    In order to support Ukraine, trade between the EU and Ukraine was facilitated in the summer of 2022. Certain agricultural products were exempted for Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia in May this year. This
    Scheme expires on September 15. Transit remains allowed. All EU countries want to ensure that grain exports to the countries of the Global South remain guaranteed.

    Özdemir supports “alternative export routes”

    After the grain agreement between Ukraine and Russia expired, Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir called for the European Union to “strengthen alternative export routes” beyond the Black Sea. At the meeting of the EU agriculture ministers, Özdemir said on German television that a clear definition of “which alternative route is the best” is needed. It was “unacceptable” if neighboring countries closed their borders with Ukraine. The Green politician described the fears of Eastern European countries that their farmers could be threatened by Ukrainian imports as a “solvable problem”. Ukrainian products would have to be transported to European ports – “and then shipped from there to the Global South”.

    Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem ÖzdemirImage: Nadja Wohlleben/REUTERS

    The grain agreement was signed in Istanbul in July 2022 and then extended twice. The deal allowed Ukraine to export grain across the Black Sea despite the Russian war of aggression. Last week Russia let the grain agreement expire.

    Ukraine complains about the use of cluster bombs in Kostyantynivka

    Ukrainian authorities have accused Russia of using cluster bombs in the town of Kostyantynivka in Donetsk Oblast in eastern Ukraine. A child was killed on Monday evening, as the head of the local military administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko, announced on the Telegram news channel. There are seven injured.

    Read Also:   The alleged murderer of a pregnant woman in Mexico faked a pregnancy before stealing her baby

    The cluster munition exploded near a body of water where people were seeking relaxation. Kyrylenko posted a photo that presumably showed the ground stained red with blood. According to local prosecutors, the boy killed was ten years old. Four children were among the injured, it said.

    Russia Ukraine war battle zone
    Russian attacks on Kostyantynivka have been going on for months: here is a picture from JanuaryImage: Andriy Dubchak/AP Photo/picture alliance

    In its war of aggression against Ukraine, Russia has repeatedly used the internationally banned cluster munitions. Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin also recently threatened that Russia could use its arsenals of many types of these weapons in response to US use of cluster munitions in Ukraine. Ukraine had this ammunition supplied to it by the United States in order to achieve greater success in its counter-offensive to liberate its Russian-held territories.

    The cluster bombs exploding above the ground spread projectiles over larger areas. Because many of them often do not explode immediately, like mines they are considered a danger to civilians even after the end of hostilities. Germany and 110 other countries have therefore outlawed them with an international agreement. Meanwhile, Ukraine is also said to be using cluster bombs that it received from the United States.

    Anti-personnel mines at Zaporizhia NPP

    Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency have discovered anti-personnel mines on the outskirts of the site of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which is occupied by Russian troops. During an inspection on Sunday, the specialists found some mines in a buffer zone between the inner and outer barriers of the facility, said IAEA director Rafael Grossi.

    IAEA Rafael Grossi South Korea
    IAEA chief Rafael GrossiImage: Yonhap/picture alliance

    The operating personnel have no access to this area. No mines were found in the inner area of ​​the site. Russian troops had occupied the nuclear power plant shortly after the start of the war of aggression ordered by President Vladimir Putin 17 months ago. Anti-personnel mines explode when touched. They are often only the size of the palm of your hand and can be spread over larger areas from the ground or from the air with rockets.

    EU pays out new billion-dollar loan to Kiev

    Ukraine has received a new €1.5 billion bailout loan from the European Union. As Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced, he should help the country attacked by Russia to keep the state running and repair the infrastructure. “While Russia continues its ruthless war, we continue to support Ukraine,” said the CDU politician. She strongly condemned the recent Russian attacks on Ukrainian grain stores and export infrastructure.

    Read Also:   The collapse of FTX causes companies linked to the crypto industry to lose $5 billion
    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen Image: Johanna Geron/REUTERS

    The money is part of the up to 18 billion euro loan program that the EU member states agreed in December for this year. The financial aid is intended to enable the Ukrainian state to continue paying wages and pensions. In addition, the operation of hospitals, schools and emergency shelters for resettled people should be guaranteed. In addition, the money can also be used to restore infrastructure that was destroyed in the war. The loans are linked to 20 reform commitments and reporting requirements. They deal, for example, with the rule of law and the fight against corruption. The interest costs are borne by the member states of the EU.

    Kyiv reports repelling night-time drone attacks

    One day after a Ukrainian drone attack on the Russian capital Moscow, the Ukrainian capital Kiev was again the target of Russian air raids during the night, according to authorities. Russia “attacked Kiev with combat drones,” military administration chief Serhiy Popko said on Telegram. Russia used Iranian-made Shahed drones. The air raid alarm lasted three hours and all the missiles were discovered and destroyed. According to initial information, there are no victims or damage. This is the sixth drone attack on Kiev this month.

    End of the ammunition shortage?

    According to Russia, it has drastically increased the production of ammunition and military equipment. Since the beginning of the year, “many types of weapons and military equipment have been produced in quantities far exceeding those of last year,” said Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov.

    Russia ammunition icon image
    For months there were complaints about a lack of ammunition, now Moscow is talking about large quantitiesImage: Yuliia Ovsyannikova/Photoshot/picture alliance

    “In terms of ammunition, we are reaching a level where monthly shipments exceed total orders for the past year,” Manturov claimed. At the beginning of the offensive in Ukraine in February 2022, Russia had expected to be able to quickly overwhelm the Ukrainian military.

    A shortage of ammunition has become a challenge for both sides in the Ukraine conflict. Long-range artillery is primarily used at the front. Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in May that his armed forces depended on “timely supplies” of ammunition.

    Western sanctions are designed to prevent Moscow from restocking by banning the export of machine parts and electronic components that could be used on the battlefield. However, according to analysts, Russia has been able to circumvent some sanctions by importing it from third countries.

    On the Ukrainian side, Presidential Advisor Michailo Podoliak said last week that his country uses 5,000 to 10,000 of a certain type of grenade every day. The European Union decided in July to boost ammunition production to help Ukraine replenish its stockpiles.

    Read Also:   Why is Tupperware, the container market leader, on the brink of bankruptcy?

    Higher draft age for conscripts

    The Russian parliament has decided to raise the upper age limit for conscription into military service. “From January 1, 2024, citizens between the ages of 18 and 30 will be called up for military service,” says the law passed by the Duma in the second and third readings. Previously, men aged 18 to 27 in Russia were required to do one year of military service.

    Russian recruits flee Putin’s war

    To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video

    In addition, conscripted Russians are no longer allowed to leave the country once the draft notice has been served. Due to earlier changes in the law, the notifications no longer have to be handed over in person – it is sufficient if the person is entered in an online register. In the event of non-appearance, conscripts should also face increased fines of up to 30,000 rubles (around 300 euros). In autumn 2022, hundreds of thousands of men fled abroad during the first wave of mobilization. Other Russians avoided conscription because they did not live at their registered address, so that the notice of conscription, which was only valid in letter form, could not be delivered. Moscow closed this legal loophole in the spring.

    Ex-officer suspected of corruption

    A former high-ranking officer has been arrested in Ukraine on suspicion of corruption. According to media reports, the ex-officer, who was dismissed at the end of June, is accused of accepting bribes to prevent citizens from being drafted into the army. Yevgen Borisov is accused of, among other things, “illegal enrichment,” said the state investigative agency DBR, which is responsible for corruption cases.

    Borisov tried to evade arrest. According to a media report published in Ukraine last week, Borissov is said to have used the bribe to buy real estate worth the equivalent of several million euros in the southern Spanish coastal city of Marbella. Until his release, the officer was responsible for conscripting soldiers in the southern Ukrainian region of Odessa.

    The corruption investigations against Borisov had already begun in May. If convicted, he faces up to ten years in prison. The fight against corruption is one of the EU’s conditions for Ukraine’s accession. In recent months, there have been several high-profile raids in the country over allegations of corruption.

    sti/uh/haz/wa/kle/gri (dpa, afp, rtr, ap)

    This article will be continuously updated on the day of its publication. Reports from war zones cannot be independently verified.

    Source: DW

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    4 × 1 =

    Subscribe & Get Latest News