In its strategy of setting fire to food, Moscow is carrying out its destruction at the gates of NATO and the European Union. Russia first attacked two export terminals on the Danubelocated next to Romania, a country belonging to the Atlantic Alliance and the EU. Reni and Izmail are key in the alternative route to Ukrainian ports, blocked or attacked by Russia since the start of the full-scale invasion last year. The drone attack injured seven people.
The governor of the Odessa region of Ukraine denounced that Russia is trying to completely block Ukrainian grain exports to world markets. “Russia is trying to starve the world,” Oleh Kiper told Ukrainian television.
The attacks last week focused mainly on the Odessa seaports. This time it is the turn of the infrastructure along the Danube, an alternative export route that has been vital for Kiev since the suspension of the agreement that allowed safe exports of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea in the middle of the war.
The port of Reni, a major transportation hub, looks out across the Danube towards Romaniamember of the NATO and the European Union. The ‘Reni-Odessa’ news website reported that three grain warehouses had been destroyed in this port city. The attack involved some 15 drones.
Since the full-scale invasion of Russia in February last year, Ukraine has expanded grain exports by landway through the European Union to around one million tons per month, with large volumes exported from Romanian ports and along the Danube, according to Reuters data.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dimytro Kuleba denounced on Twitter that Russia “attempts to extract concessions by taking 400 million people hostage. I urge all nations, particularly those in Africa and Asia, which are the most affected by rising food prices, to create a overall response linked to food terrorism”.
These river ports are shallower than those on the Black Sea, so their capacity is limited and they additional costs for exporters. But even so, the port authorities of the Odessa region had claimed that these ports could manage up to a 50% capacity of the region’s seaport, attacked last week.
Russia is ready to cancel this possibility to stifle exports. Putin’s regime tries to destroy food production in Ukraine. In the early morning of July 19 alone, 60,000 tons of grain were set on fire by Russian missile attacks on the port of Chornomorsk. In addition, Russia has burned farmlandha stolen grain and they have been destroyed dams in the fighting zone.
Although their attacks carry a risk of famineRussian exports have been benefited by the misfortunes of Ukraine, a competitor country in many commercial chapters. Russian port operations in the Black Sea increased by 21% in 2023, according to data released by the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA).