UKRAINE- Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania have reached a deal to facilitate the transit of Ukrainian agricultural products through Poland to third countries by transferring product inspections from the Polish border to a Lithuanian port.

The three-nation agreement means that Ukrainian grain exports, destined for markets in Africa and the Middle East in particular, will be taken directly through Poland instead of first being checked at the Poland-Ukraine border.

Over the next two days, veterinary, sanitary, and phytosanitary control will be transferred from the Ukrainian-Polish border to the port of Klaipeda (Lithuania) for all agricultural cargoes heading to this port. This will speed up transit through Poland,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food said. 

The agreement was reached by Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Mykola Solskyi, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland Robert Telus, and Minister of Agriculture of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas during a regular online meeting on Oct. 2.

We agreed on an important matter,” Telus said at a press briefing, the Polish Press Agency reported. “From tomorrow, inspections (previously carried out) on the Ukrainian-Polish border, as regards grain transiting through Lithuania, will be carried out in Lithuania, in a Lithuanian port. This is a good thing in building this transit, in building this solidarity corridor that we, as Poland, have built in Europe.

Ukraine has been struggling to export its grain since Russia’s February 2022 invasion and subsequent blockade of its ports. Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary have extended their import bans on Ukrainian grain, which they insist flooded their markets and depressed prices, but continue to allow the transit of Ukrainian agricultural goods to third countries.

Meanwhile, a report by Reuters reveals that more ships are leaving Ukrainian ports using a new corridor opened by Ukraine mainly for agricultural exports. 

Five new vessels are waiting to be loaded in Ukrainian ports,” Ukraine Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on the X social media platform. “Bulk carriers OLGA, IDA, DANNY BOY, FORZA DORIA, NEW LEGACY are going to export almost 120,000 tonnes of Ukrainian grain to Africa and Europe.

These vessels are the latest to sail since Ukraine set up a temporary “humanitarian corridor” after Russia quit the Black Sea Grain Initiative. 

The temporary corridor hugs the western coastline near Romania and Bulgaria. In August, Romania said it could double its monthly transit of Ukrainian grain to its Black Sea port of Constanta to 4 million tonnes in the coming months, particularly via the Danube River.