Official: It Is in Our Interest to Transport Grain from Ukraine to Croatia

By 11 July 2022
Official: It Is in Our Interest to Transport Grain from Ukraine to Croatia
Photo: Emica Elvedji/PIXSELL

ZAGREB, 11 July 2022 - State Secretary at the Transport Ministry Josip Bilaver confirmed on Monday that it was in Croatia's interest that as much grain from Ukraine as possible, which cannot be transported via the Black Sea, be 'transferred' to Croatia.

It is in our interest to shift as much of freight as possible to Croatia, and we are working on that together with the European Commission, Bilaver said in Croatian parliament to HDZ's Ivan Radić, who wanted to know whether Croatian ports could have a role in the export of Ukrainian grain.

The state secretary said it was clear that Ukrainian grain couldn't access the world market via the Black Sea, so talks were underway on how to export a large part of the grain via the Danube.

Hence Croatia ports are also attractive, especially Vukovar, which has the capacities for the transhipment of such freight, which can be transported via rail to our sea ports, Rijeka and Zadar, Bilaver said in a debate in parliament on the proposal for a development strategy for inner waterway transport until 2032.

While the HDZ praises the strategy, the opposition parties SDP and DP announced that they would abstain and Social Democrats that they would support it.

Hajdaš Dončić: We have only 138 vessels

Siniša Hajdaš Dončić (SDP) said that the strategy until 2032 envisaged an increase in the share of river transport to three percent, while a transport strategy from 1999 envisaged an increase to 15%.

Speaking about limiting factors, he pointed out that we only had 138 vessels, the small carrying capacity of our river fleet, its age. He also said that the Netherlands transported 359 million tonnes of freight per year by rivers and canals, Germany 198 million, while we transported a mere 5.2 million.

Davor Dretar (DP) joined colleagues who warned that inner waterway navigation was becoming a very uncertain form of transport due to climate change and that the impact on the environment should be taken into account.

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