RIGA - In order to avoid new global problems, it is very important to find a way to export grain from Ukrainian warehouses as soon as possible, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) said in an interview with Latvian Television on Thursday.
He stressed that delays in grain exports from Ukraine could force some countries to step up pressure on Ukraine to accept compromises offered by Russia. Secondly, grain shortages in Africa may cause famine and thus launch a new migration wave to Europe, Rinkevics explained.
Two main solutions for export of Ukrainian grain during the war are currently being considered. One of them is to use the Black Sea ports, which are mined. If the ports were cleared of mines, the question of how to protect them from Russian attacks would have to be considered.
The second option is to use ports of the Baltic Sea, "but there are certain logistics problems there - we know what problems we have with Belarus, so in fact the only way is through Poland," said Rinkevics.
Diplomats from the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom are currently working hard to find solutions to the problem of grain exports, and this must be done before the new grain harvest so that Ukrainians have empty warehouses by then, said Rinkevics.
"We have to consider use of both the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea to get those grain shipments out as soon as possible," said Rinkevics.
Speaking about the international community's attitude toward the war in Ukraine, Rinkevics acknowledged that opinions of several heads of state that Ukraine should consider any compromises with Russia are becoming increasingly more audible, but Latvia is certainly not among the countries that will recommend anything like that. "Only the Ukrainians themselves can decide at what point they are ready to negotiate," said Rinkevics.