The relevant statement was made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a video address, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
“The implementation of the Initiative on the export of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products from our ports in the Black Sea began today. The first vessel carrying 26,000 tons of corn left the port of Odesa. As of now, it is too early to draw any conclusions and predict further events. But, the port started working, the export traffic started, and this can be called the first positive signal that there is a chance to stop the spread of the food crisis in the world,” Zelensky told.
In his words, now everything depends on the implementation of the security parameters of the Initiative, which is “the responsibility of the partners, primarily the United Nations and Turkey”.
“We cannot have the illusions that Russia will simply refrain from trying to disrupt Ukrainian exports. Russia consistently provoked famine in the countries of Africa and Asia, which traditionally imported large volumes of Ukrainian food. And now – in conditions of extreme heat, as this year in Europe, the threat of a price crisis and a certain food shortage is also possible for some European countries. So, we’ll see how the agreements will work and whether there will really be security. 16 vessels are already waiting their turn for departure, and we are ready to make a proper contribution to the stabilization of the world food market,” the President of Ukraine noted.
According to Zelensky, this is also of great benefit for Ukraine.
“This is not only about billions of dollars in foreign exchange revenue. About half a million Ukrainians are involved in the cultivation of agricultural export crops, and if we add related industries, then this is plus a million jobs. That is why there is the appropriate state attention to the implementation of the export Initiative. Our people really need it,” Zelensky stressed.
A reminder that, on July 22, 2022, a quadrilateral agreement was signed between Ukraine, Turkey, Russia and the United Nations in Istanbul in order to resume grain and other food exports from Ukrainian ports. The first vessel is expected to arrive in the territorial waters of Turkey on August 2, 2022, and then sail to Africa.