Ukraine Secures Grain Export through Croatian Adriatic Ports

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: August 1, 2023; 14:18 ♦ (Vindobona)

Ukraine has reached an agreement with Croatia to export grain through ports on the Adriatic Sea. The agricultural goods are to be shipped to Croatia via the Danube and from there they will be transported further to the Adriatic coast.

Ukrainian grain will be exported through Croatian ports such as the port in Rijeka. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons; Roberta F., CC BY-SA 3.0 (

The agreement comes at a time when Russia is blocking Ukraine's exports in the Black Sea. In mid-July, Moscow terminated the agreement to ship grain, mediated by the United Nations and Turkey, and attacked Ukrainian seaports around Odesa and Danube ports with missiles and drones. Reports indicate that 180,000 tons of grain were destroyed in the process, according to ORF. The Russian fleet is also blocking access to the Ukrainian coast.

To circumvent the Russian blockade, Ukraine is also trying to increase overland exports through the European Union. However, some neighboring countries such as Poland are hindering this transport route, as many farmers in the EU fear a drop in prices if Ukrainian grain reaches the market.

In this context, the agreement with Croatia plays a crucial role. The use of Adriatic ports provides an alternative route and allows Ukraine to export its agricultural goods even without direct access to the Black Sea.

Ukrainian officials have not yet disclosed the export volumes to be shipped through the Adriatic ports, as reported by ORF. However, this new export route is expected to be significant for Ukraine as it diversifies its grain exports and frees them from dependence on Black Sea ports.

Croatia professes support

Croatia is also siding with Ukraine primarily because of its own past in the Yugoslav wars and wants to share these experiences with Ukraine, Aljazeera Balkans reports. In this regard, the reconstruction of the economy, first and foremost agriculture, and the experience of Euro-Atlantic integration are at the forefront of the experiences to be shared for Croatia. In addition, during a visit to Ukraine, Minister Grlić Radman emphasized his country's support for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, as Aljazeera Balkans reports.

"Croatia is aware of the importance of demining as a prerequisite for Ukraine's restoration and recovery, but also as a guarantor that Ukraine will continue to serve as a granary whose products feed the world, including the most vulnerable countries. Therefore, we believe that Croatian support for the World Food Program (WFP) project on demining of agricultural areas will also contribute to this goal. In the face of a possible global food crisis, Croatia has made its ports available for the export of Ukrainian grain and will continue to do so," Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman stressed, as Aljazeera Balkans reports.

These recent developments demonstrate the international community's solidarity with Ukraine and highlight the country's pursuit of ways to ensure its economic stability and sovereignty amid challenges, Grlić Radman said, Aljazeera Balkans reports.

It remains to be seen how the situation will develop further and to what extent the new export route via the Adriatic ports will affect Ukraine's economic situation. However, international support and cooperation will remain crucial to help the country on its path to sustainable development.

MFA Ukraine