26 Apr 2022 16:55

Deutsche Bahn planning to open 'grain bridge' for agricultural exports from Ukraine - media

KYIV. April 26 (Interfax-Ukraine) - Germany's Deutsche Bahn and its logistic subsidiary are planning to carry Ukrainian grain by rail instead of the traditional transportation through Ukrainian seaports, which are now blocked.

The German business newspaper Handelsblatt published the company plans supported by the German federal government.

According to the newspaper, the German authorities are studying a possibility to increase grain exports from Ukraine in order to avert a food crisis and famine on the planet.

"As a railway transport employee, I have to ensure that 20 million tons of grain are shipped to prevent a global famine," said Michael Toyrer, Secretary of State in the Federal Ministry of Transport told Handelsblatt.

A representative of Deutsche Bahn confirmed that the company "has such plans," it said.

One train is capable of carrying up to 52 containers with several thousand tonnes of grain, and up to 20,000 trips might be needed to transport 20 million tonnes of grain from Ukraine, the newspaper said.

"The so-called 'grain bridge' has two elements. On one hand, the supply chains through [Ukrainian] seaports that have been disrupted need to be compensated [with transportation by rail]. On the other hand, it is important to bring agricultural machinery, from spares to new tractors, combine harvesters and other vehicles, to Ukraine. Ukrainian farmers are sowing in the country's west on these days," it said.