Food

Zelenskiy urges greater defence of grain exports corridor 

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Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called on the world to respond firmly to any Russian attempts to disrupt Ukraine’s grain export corridor.

Zelenskiy, who made the call in a late Tuesday night video address, said ships were still moving out of Ukrainian ports with cargoes thanks to the work of Turkey and the United Nations.

“But a reliable and long-term defence is needed for the grain corridor,” Zelenskiy said.

“Russia must clearly be made aware that it will receive a tough response from the world to any steps to disrupt our food exports.

 “At issue here clearly are the lives of tens of millions of people.” He added.

Russia withdrew from the accord over the weekend, saying it could not guarantee safety for civilian ships because of an attack on its Black Sea fleet.

The U.N. coordinator for grain and fertiliser exports under the accord said on Twitter on Tuesday that he expects loaded ships to leave Ukrainian ports on Thursday.

Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Twitter that eight vessels were expected to pass through the corridor on Thursday.

Also Read: Putin Suspends Black Sea Grain Exports

Having spoken to his Russian counterpart twice in as many days, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar hoped the deal would continue, adding that he expected a response from Russia “today and tomorrow”.

Russia fired missiles at Ukrainian cities including the capital Kyiv in what President Vladimir Putin called retaliation for an attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet over the weekend.

Ukraine said it shot most of those missiles down, but some had hit power stations, knocking out electricity and water supplies.

One of the global consequences of Russia’s war on its neighbour has been food shortages and a cost of living crisis in many countries, and a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey on July 22 provided safe passage for vessels carrying grain and other fertiliser exports.

The grains deal aimed to help avert famine in poorer countries by injecting more wheat, sunflower oil and fertilizer into world markets and to ease a dramatic rise in prices.

It targeted the pre-war level of 5 million metric tonnes exported from Ukraine each month.

 

Zainab Sa’id

Source Reuters
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