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Could rusty Soviet railway lines be the difference between ...

World

Could rusty Soviet railway lines be the difference between famine or feast?

With ports blocked by Russia, getting grain out of Ukraine is forcing nations to scour maps for new routes

Megan Durisin, Andra Timu and Konrad Krasuski

Overgrown with vegetation, the rusted railway tracks running between Reni in Ukraine’s southwest corner to the port of Galati in Romania had been consigned to Soviet-era history long ago. About a quarter of the 20km line is missing.  

Yet like other relics of the old Eastern Bloc network, the route along the Danube River could eventually play a small part in an increasingly large and complex operation to secure vital food shipments.

European leaders are desperately trying to figure out how to get grain out of Ukraine, whose exports are normally bigger than the EU’s. Russia, accused by the UN of waging war on global food security, last week said it would open maritime corridors to unblock ports such as Odesa on the Black Sea if sanctions against the country were lifted. However, Ukraine said it was sceptical because of security concerns...

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