President Volodymyr Zelensky says Ukraine is ready to start shipping millions of tons of grain sitting at its southern ports and is waiting for Turkey and the United Nations, which have agreed to oversee the shipments, to start the operation.
"Our side is fully prepared. We sent all the signals to our partners -- the UN and Turkey -- and our military guarantees the security situation," Zelenskiy's office quoted the president as saying on July 29, noting he had personally visited one of the ports, Chornomorsk, to assess the situation.
"The infrastructure minister is in direct contact with the Turkish side and the UN. We are waiting for a signal from them that we can start...It is important for us that Ukraine remains the guarantor of global food security," he added.
Kyiv and Moscow signed agreements with Turkey and the UN on July 22 to free up three of Ukraine's ports -- Odesa, Chernomorsk, and Pivdenniy -- which had been blockaded since Russia launched the invasion of its neighbor in late February.
The deal cleared the way for millions of tons of grain and fertilizers to be shipped as many parts of the world teeter on the brink of a major food crisis.
The UN and Turkey, a NATO member and maritime neighbor to both Russia and Ukraine in the Black Sea, are to oversee the operations through a joint command center set up in Istanbul. Turkish officials said earlier this week the center is now up and ready to function.
Ukraine and Russia are two of the world's largest grain exporters.
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
- Why The U.S. Is Desperate For A Russian Oil Price Cap
- Saudi Arabia’s Real Production Capacity: Is 15 Million Bpd Possible?
- U.S. Refiners Haven't Seen Fuel Demand Destruction