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Romania in talks to buy Moldovan port, build new Danube bridge to create hub for Ukraine reconstruction

The Moldovan port of Giurgiulesti. (Photo by EBRD)

The Romanian government is in talks to buy the Danube River port of Giurgiulesti in the neighboring landlocked Republic of Moldova to transform it into a shipping hub for the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war, Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said in an exclusive interview with news outlet

"One of the most important hubs for the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war will be Romania," Ciolacu said. "But Romania must be logistically prepared for this hub this time."

He said the Romanian port of Constanta on the Black Sea will be "strategic" for the reconstruction of Ukraine but the smaller port of Giurgiulesti in the Republic of Moldova, which borders both Romania and Ukraine, can also play an important role in the rebuilding.

The port, the only one accessible to seagoing vessels in Moldova, one of Europe's poorest countries, lies at the confluence of the Prut and Danube rivers and near the Black Sea. Shipping volumes through Giurgiulesti, which is on Moldova's border with Romania, doubled after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has said the port has "played a key role in helping to uphold supplies to and from Ukraine."

Ciolacu said Romanian Transport Minister Sorin Grindeanu has approached the EBRD, which owns a majority stake in the port, about the possibility of the Romanian state buying and developing it to prepare for the rebuilding of Ukraine.

The Romanian prime minister also said he spoke with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, together with the prime minister of Bulgaria, about using some European Union funds to build a bridge for road and rail traffic across the Danube River near the Romanian border with Moldova to ease transport of goods to and from the port to help with the reconstruction of Ukraine.

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