Ukraine and the EU have discussed taking “immediate measures to unblock Ukraine’s ports for grain exports” after Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports has forced its grain exporters to look for alternatives to move their cargo.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he discussed preventing “a global food crisis triggered by Russia’s aggressive actions” during talks with European Council President Charles Michel on his visit to Odesa on Monday.
Before the war, Ukraine exported 4.5 million tonnes of agricultural produce per month through its ports -12% of the world’s wheat, 15% of its corn and 50% of its sunflower oil, the AFP news agency reports.
But the invasion has crippled its export capacity, with Russia destroying transportation infrastructure and blockading Odesa, the main port for grain exports.
“In the port of Odesa, I saw silos full of grain, wheat and corn ready for export,” Michel said.
“This badly needed food is stranded because of the Russian war and blockade of Black Sea ports causing dramatic consequences for vulnerable countries. We need a global response,” he added.