Ukraine president calls for moves to unblock ports


Source: Reuters

via The Cattle Site - 10 May 2022


Nearly 25 million tonnes of grains are now stuck in Ukraine


Ukraine's president said on Monday that trade at the country's ports was at a standstill and urged the international community to take immediate steps to end a Russian blockade to allow wheat shipments and prevent a global food crisis, reported Reuters.


Volodymyr Zelenskiy made the comments after speaking to European Council President Charles Michel, who was visiting Odesa - the major Black Sea port for exporting agricultural products where missiles struck tourist sites and destroyed buildings on Monday.


"For the first time in decades and decades, in Odesa there is no regular movement of the merchant fleet, there is no routine port work. This has probably never happened in Odesa since World War II," Zelenskiy said in a video address.


"And this is a blow not only to Ukraine. Without our agricultural exports, dozens of countries in different parts of the world are already on the brink of food shortages. And over time, the situation can become, frankly, frightening."


Ukraine was the world's fourth-largest exporter of maize (corn) in the 2020/21 season and the No.6 wheat exporter, according to International Grains Council data. But nearly 25 million tonnes of grains are now stuck in Ukraine, a UN food agency official said on Friday.


"Immediate measures must be taken to unblock Ukrainian ports for wheat exports," Zelenskiy said earlier on his Telegram messaging channel.


He did not specify what measures he was seeking. NATO countries including the United States have ruled out armed intervention for fear of triggering a wider war.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who visited Kyiv on Sunday, offered to help Ukraine work out options on how to export stored grain.