Zelensky orders measures to continue operation of Black Sea grain export deal

Ukrinform Ukrainian multimedia platform for broadcasting - 7/24/2023 5:50:00 PM

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has ordered measures to be taken to ensure the continued operation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
He said this in a post on Telegram following a meeting of the Staff of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, Ukrinform reports.

"Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhnyi, Commander Neizhpapa and Minister Kubrakov [have been ordered] to prepare a set of measures to continue the operation of the 'grain corridor.' The Ministry of Foreign Affairs [has been ordered] to work out similar diplomatic steps," Zelensky said.

The head of state said that systematic work was ongoing to protect Ukrainian ports and infrastructure involved in the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Read also: Russia withdrew from grain deal to raise prices for its grain - Kuleba
"We are aware of the risks, threats, prospects," Zelensky said.

According to him, Ukrainian Navy Commander Oleksiy Neizhpapa and Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov delivered their reports at the meeting.

On July 17, Russia announced the termination of the agreement with Turkey and the UN that allowed the safe passage of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea.

Zelensky said that Ukraine's agreement with Turkey and the UN on the export of agricultural products remains valid.

Russia withdrew from grain deal to raise prices for its grain - Kuleba

Russia has withdrawn from the Black Sea Grain Initiative to provoke a rise in grain prices and sell as much of its own grain as possible at high prices, mixing it with stolen Ukrainian grain.
According to Ukrinform's own correspondent in New York, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said this when answering questions from journalists at the UN headquarters.
"The Russians want to make money on this to finance their military machine and put something in their pockets for a yacht. This is one hundred percent true as we see that while they are blocking the Black Sea corridor, Russian grain ships are sailing at full capacity from Russia through the Black Sea to other markets," he emphasized.
In his words, Russia is always bargaining for two things, money and territory, "hucksters are sitting in the Kremlin and fighting for every penny."
Ukraine is aware of Russia's attempts to reach alternative arrangements for humanitarian grain supplies to show that it can be done without Ukraine, he explained.
"We know the content of this initiative, we know which countries they have offered it to," Kuleba said, noting that if it is implemented, it will mean that they will participate in Russia's fraudulent scheme. We are working to prevent this from happening, he said.
According to Kuleba, if there is political will to ensure the supply of Ukrainian grain to world markets, there must be a way to do so. If Russia refuses to comply with the agreement, Ukraine, Türkiye, and the UN or any other country or group of countries "could come up with their own initiative (to continue the existing or create a new supply model)," he said.
He stated that the issue of security, to prevent Russia from attacking the ship carrying grain, is being discussed in various capitals and at the UN headquarters. "Now there are very active discussions, including during my numerous bilateral meetings, meetings that I hold here to find a way out," the minister emphasized.
"This is a difficult situation. We have to take risks somewhere. But we must demonstrate that we can continue to live without Russia," he added.
He characterized Russia's behavior as simple blackmail. Moscow has blocked Ukraine's ports, exposed the world to the risk of a global food crisis, and if it "gets away with some of its crimes," it will be ready to "lift some restrictions."
At the same time, Kuleba warned against fulfilling Russia's demands. "Moscow will extend the initiative for one month, and in another month, it will put forward another list of demands. This is called blackmail, and blackmail cannot be tolerated," the minister stressed.
As reported, Dmytro Kuleba is on a working visit to New York, where he arrived to participate in a meeting of the UN Security Council and in an open debate of the UN General Assembly on the situation in Ukraine.
On Monday, Russia announced that it had withdrawn from the Black Sea grain deal.


Shmyhal: Ukraine exported more than 33M tonnes of grain to 45 countries over year of grain deal
Over almost a year of the grain deal operation, Ukraine exported more than 33 million tonnes of grain to 45 countries.
"Since the first days of the full-scale war, Russia has been blocking Ukrainian Black Sea ports. Thanks to a tripartite agreement with Türkiye and the UN, the grain initiative operated for almost a year. During this period, Ukraine managed to export more than 33 million tonnes of agricultural products to 45 countries," Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal said at the Cabinet's meeting, Ukrinform reports.
The Prime Minister emphasized that in order to prevent a new food crisis, which Russia tries to provoke by disrupting the grain agreement, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky already sent official letters to the President of Türkiye and the UN Secretary-General.
"We propose to continue the operation of the grain initiative in a tripartite format. This will save millions of people from hunger and ensure global food security," the Head of Government said.
As reported, Russia announced the termination of the extension of the grain deal which was concluded on July 22, 2022 in Istanbul for 120 days and was extended several times.
Zelensky officially called on President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip ErdoGan and UN Secretary-General António Guterres to continue the operation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative or its analog in a unilateral format without Russia.