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West to build silos on Ukraine border to help export wheat, Biden says

US president blames Russian counterpart for high food prices, says new infrastructure plan is ‘taking time’

A Russian soldier guards a pier with the grain storage in the background at an area of the Mariupol Sea Port which has recently started its work after heavy fighting in Mariupol, on the territory which is under the Government of the Donetsk People's Republic control, eastern Ukraine, June 12, 2022. This photo was taken during a trip organized by the Russian Ministry of Defense. (AP Photo)
A Russian soldier guards a pier with the grain storage in the background at an area of the Mariupol Sea Port which has recently started its work after heavy fighting in Mariupol, on the territory which is under the Government of the Donetsk People's Republic control, eastern Ukraine, June 12, 2022. This photo was taken during a trip organized by the Russian Ministry of Defense. (AP Photo)

PHILADELPHIA, United States — US President Joe Biden on Tuesday disclosed a Western plan to build silos on the borders of Ukraine to facilitate export of grain caught in a Russian blockade of Black Sea ports that has triggered a global food supply crisis.

Biden blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for high food prices in the United States and warned that the plan for new infrastructure to help get more Ukrainian wheat to world markets was “taking time.”

“I’m working closely with our European partners to get 20 million tons of grain locked in Ukraine out onto the market to help bring down food prices,” Biden said in a speech to a trade union convention in Philadelphia.

“What Putin’s war has done is not only try to wipe up the culture of Ukrainians, decimate people, commit innumerable war crimes, but he’s also, he’s also prevented the grain, thousands of tons of grain, that are locked up,” Biden said. “They can’t get out to the Black Sea because they get blown out of the water.”

Biden said alternative land exports were complicated by the fact that Ukrainian railways use a different gauge than the networks in neighboring countries.

To help ease the bottleneck, “we’re going to build silos, temporary silos, in the borders of Ukraine, including in Poland, so we can transfer it from those cars into those silos, into cars in Europe, and get it out to the ocean and get it across the world,” Biden said.

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