In this file:
· The first Ukrainian grain ship leaves Odesa after months of Russian blockade
· UK's Truss says Ukraine grain shipment "important first step"
The first Ukrainian grain ship leaves Odesa after months of Russian blockade
Joanna Kakissis, NPR
August 1, 2022
ODESA, Ukraine – A cargo ship loaded with 26,000 tons of Ukrainian corn left the country's largest port Monday for the first time since Russia's invasion on Feb. 24.
The milestone comes after the United Nations and Turkey signed agreements with Russia and Ukraine on July 22 to re-open Ukraine's Black Sea ports and resume exports of grain, cooking oil and fertilizer. The U.N. had pushed for a deal to address a growing global food shortage.
Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov filmed the ship, the Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni, as it departed and declared the U.N. deal "a great success for providing global food security." He wrote on Facebook that Ukrainian ports would be working at full capacity in a few weeks.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov also noted the ship's departure, calling it "very positive." Russia signed a separate agreement with Turkey so it could export its grain and fertilizer, which remain grounded because of Western sanctions on banking and transportation.
The Ukrainians need this deal to work to keep their economy from falling apart.
"Ukraine used to earn 45 percent of its general income from the agriculture sector," Alla Stoyanova, the Odesa region's agriculture chief, told NPR. "Since the Russian invasion, practically every other sector has crumbled. So agricultural exports are now our money, our economy, our life."
Keeping up the pace of exports is crucial. Farmers continue to work during the war, sometimes donning helmets and bulletproof vests while working in their fields. They are running out of space to store crops. They can't afford to plant next year's crop...
UK's Truss says Ukraine grain shipment "important first step"
via Investors.com - Aug 01, 2022
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Foreign Secretary Liz Truss called the first grain shipment from the Ukrainian port of Odesa since Russia's invasion in February an "important first step," and called on Moscow not to "weaponise global food supplies".
"These ships must receive safe passage. There must be no repeat of Russia's shelling of the port of Odesa," Truss said in a statement on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR). "The only way Putin can truly alleviate the global food security crisis he has created is by ending his brutal invasion of Ukraine."