Russia stalls exports of Ukrainian grain, Zelenskyy says
Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)
Attempting to stall Ukrainian exports under the Black Sea grain deal, Russia is holding up 150 grain ships in Ukrainian ports, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his Oct. 21 evening address.
The 150-ship backlog is due to Moscow’s “deliberate obstruction,” according to the president.
“The situation around the grain export initiative is becoming ever more tense in recent weeks,” said Zelenskyy.
“The enemy is doing everything it can to halt our agricultural exports. I think Russia is deliberately creating a global food crisis, hoping it becomes as acute as it was earlier this year.”
Zelenskyy said Russia’s obstruction is causing delays in shipments of Ukrainian grain to Egypt, Tunisia, Algiers, Morocco, Lebanon, Iraq, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and other countries. The logistical backlog has already brought down food exports from Ukraine by around 3 million tons.
Ukraine, Turkey, and the UN signed the Black Sea grain deal on July 22, which allowed for cargo ships to export grain from Odesa and several other Black Sea ports. As intermediaries, the UN and Turkey also signed a corresponding agreement with Russia, providing for Moscow to inspect ships sailing to and from Ukrainian ports.
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