Thursday Sep 28, 2023
Thursday Sep 28, 2023

UN chief hails resumption of Ukraine grain exports via Black Sea

2022 Jul 14, 7:33, Turkey

The agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine to break a months-long blockade of grain deliveries via the Black Sea is a critical step forward to ensuring the safe and secure export of Ukrainian products, said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday in a press brief.

He further said that through this agreement, the world is seeing a ray of hope at this juncture when the world is darkened by a global crisis.

"Today in Istanbul, we have seen a critical step forward to ensuring the safe and secure export of Ukrainian food products through the Black Sea," Antonio Guterres told reporters.

In a world darkened by global crises, today, at last, we have a ray of hope, he said, adding the aim of all parties is not just an agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, but an agreement for the world.

Ukraine is regarded as the "breadbasket of Europe" supplying 10 per cent of the world's wheat, 12-17 per cent of the world's maize and half of the world's sunflower oil.

Twenty-five million tonnes of corn and wheat - the entire annual consumption of all the least developed countries - can't be exported and is currently at risk of rotting in Ukrainian silos.

The ongoing blockade has placed 47 million people around the world on the brink of humanitarian disasters.

In addition to preventing grain from leaving Ukraine via the Black Sea - the route by which 96 per cent of Ukraine's grain has historically been exported, Russian attacks are disrupting rail exports.

According to Western countries, not only is Russia preventing Ukraine from exporting its grain but there is also increasing evidence that Russia is stealing grain from Ukraine.

Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, security experts say one of Moscow's earliest strategic aims quickly became apparent as its armoured columns advanced along the coast in an effort to seize Ukraine's coastline.

The seizure of ports would strangle Ukraine economically at a time when it most needs the funds to fend off Russia. After more than four months of the conflict, two of Ukraine's five main commercial ports have been taken and both are in the northeast of the Black Sea.


Black Sea Ukrainian food products breadbasket of Europe Antonio Guterres United Nation russia Ukraine NepalNews
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