Ukraine’s Neglected Danube Region is a Crucial Front in the War with Russia

“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s October 10 visit to Bucharest took place at a critical moment for cooperation between Ukraine and Romania. It came following months of increasingly elevated diplomatic engagement centered around alternative transportation corridors for Ukrainian grain. This intensifying dialogue highlights the growing importance of Ukraine’s Danube ports in the war against Putin’s Russia.

“Since July 2023, Russian rockets and drones have relentlessly rained down on the Ukrainian Danube port cities of Izmail and Reni. With Russia’s withdrawal from the UN-brokered Grain Deal on July 17 and continued efforts to blockade Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, these smaller cities on the Danube have been placed in the spotlight as alternative gateways for Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products bound for global markets.

“While the Danube route offers numerous advantages for Ukrainian exporters, major challenges persist. One under-reported issue is the problem of past neglect towards the Danube region by the Ukrainian authorities in Kyiv. Together with Russian air raids and naval mines, the legacy of this neglect is now threatening to undermine Ukraine’s efforts to outmaneuver Russia’s Black Sea blockade. …” 

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