Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday visited the Black Sea port to ascertain the level of preparations as his country gets ready to export millions of tons of trapped grain following Russia’s invasion in February.
This is expected to bring relief to millions of impoverished people facing hunger as a result of food shortage worldwide.
He said, however, that the departure of wheat and other grain will begin with several ships that were already loaded but could not leave Ukrainian ports after Russia invaded in late February.
Ukraine is a key global exporter of wheat, barley, corn and sunflower oil.
Loss of those supplies has raised global food prices, threatened political insecurity and helped push more people into poverty and hunger in already vulnerable countries.
Ukraine’s military is committed to the safety of ships, Zelenskyy said, adding that “it is important for us that Ukraine remains the guarantor of global food security.”
His unscheduled visit to the port is part of a broader push by Ukraine to show the world that it is nearly ready to export millions of tons of grains after last week’s breakthrough agreements, which were brokered by Turkey and the United Nations and signed separately by Ukraine and Russia.