World food crisis: Ukraine ready to ship grains after Russia deal

According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, the first grain ship from Ukraine since Russia’s invasion is prepared and waiting for the signal to depart port.

A week after a UN-led deal to resume exports, the speaker was speaking during a visit to the Chornomorsk port.

Food shortages and price increases are a result of the blockade of Ukrainian ports.

Although noteworthy, the first departure from Ukrainian territory will serve more as a scouting expedition than as a means of reopening a crucial supply channel.

The grain problem also played a significant role in Friday’s talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, the first time the two have spoken since the war started.

According to Mr. Blinken, he spoke with his counterpart in a “frank and straightforward” manner, informing him that the world would not tolerate Russian annexation of Ukrainian territory and that Russia must uphold its promise to permit grain exports from Ukraine.

On the Black Sea shore earlier, President Zelensky stood with ambassadors from the G7 industrialized nations in front of the Turkish-registered ship Polarnet.

The first shipping action in weeks was witnessed in Chornomorsk, south of Odesa, with tugboats maneuvering and a solitary vessel altering course.

One of three Black Sea ports awaiting approval is this one. According to officials, 17 ships with 600,000 tonnes of cargo are currently waiting.

Martin Griffiths, the head of the UN’s relief efforts, made it plain that exports could only resume in a secure manner after the Black Sea route was decided. Global shipping insurers and the UN acknowledged that “crucial” issues remained to be resolved and that nothing was anticipated to occur before the weekend.

The military of Ukraine has mined Odesa’s largest port, adding to the operation’s risks.

Grain convoys won’t follow the first ship when it finally departs, if at all.

The sea corridor, convoy, and cargo inspection are all being organized by a joint coordination center (JCC) in Turkey in accordance with the agreement reached by Russia and Ukraine; however, it was stated that final preparations were still pending.

There are food shortages across Africa as a result of the halt of grain shipments, which has now lasted six months.

The first ship’s final destination is yet unknown, although Somalia is a top priority, according to the UN’s assistance chief. Famine is a possibility in eight regions of the nation.

The president of Ukraine was joined by seven G7 ambassadors to demonstrate the political commitment to restart exports. According to Mr. Zelensky, “when someone blocks the Black Sea and kills people in other nations, we are providing them a chance to survive.”

Approximately 20 million tonnes of grain are being stored in Ukraine in preparation for export while Russian naval troops dominate the majority of the Black Sea.

The two nations exported a third of the world’s wheat and barley prior to Russia’s invasion. There is hope that the agreement, which has a 120-day first term, will be successful. Russia is also eager to start exporting grain and fertilizer again.

Serhiy Bratchuk, the regional manager in Odesa, uploaded a map illustrating how the grain corridor to and from Odesa may function, including a location for inspection close to the port and a path that follows the Ukrainian coast to the mouth of the Danube.

According to Ukrainian officials, the ports of Chornomorsk and Odesa are ready for ships to depart, and Pivdennyi will be ready by the end of the week.

All of the first shipment’s specifics, according to foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, needed to be computed and “verified again, twice, and three times.”

The head of UN aid stressed that in order for it to go securely, all parties involved must agree on both the movements and the exact location of the corridor at the coordination center in Istanbul.

However, he was certain that any issues would be resolved swiftly, with a view to getting back to the pre-war export levels of about five million metric tonnes per month.

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