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Poland to build silos for Ukrainian grain: gov't spokesman

15.06.2022 18:45
Poland is working with the United States to set up temporary silos for grain from war-hit Ukraine, the spokesman for the Polish government said on Wednesday.
Piotr Mller.
Piotr Müller.PAP/Rafał Guz

Piotr Müller told reporters: “As regards temporary silos for Ukrainian grain, we are working with our American partners."

He added: “Technical issues, such as location, will be discussed in the immediate future.”

Exporting Ukraine’s grain

The idea of temporary silos for grain from war-torn Ukraine was put forward a day earlier by US President Joe Biden, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The US leader said at a meeting with trade unions in Philadelphia: “I'm working closely with our European partners to get 20 million tons of grain locked in Ukraine out onto the market to help bring down food prices … It can't get out through the Black Sea because it'll get blown out of the water."

Biden added: “So we’re working on a plan to get it out through other countries by rail."

Müller told reporters on Wednesday: “It’s a very important issue, part of building food security for Africa.”

Different track gauges

Biden noted that Ukrainian track gauges were wider than in western Europe, so during the rail journey, the grain had to be transferred to different trains at the border.

"So we're going to build silos, temporary silos, on the borders of Ukraine, including in Poland," he said.

He stressed that getting Ukrainian grain out of the country would take time. 

Construction of silos to take 3-4 months: Polish agriculture minister

Meanwhile, Poland’s Agriculture Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Henryk Kowalczyk said that Biden’s proposal was “a very interesting idea,” but added that "several detailed issues had to be settled," from the location of the silos, to their size and sources of financing.

“It must be remembered that such projects take three to four months to complete,” Kowalczyk said in a statement on Wednesday, as cited by the PAP news agency.

Ukraine is a leading global exporter of grain, according to experts.

Due to the war and the resulting Russian blockade of Black Sea ports, it has been unable to bring its harvest to the world. 

Earlier this month, the United Nations warned that the number of people suffering from acute hunger could rise by 47 million worldwide if the war in Ukraine continued.

Wednesday is day 112 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Source: PAP, Reuters, whitehouse.gov