LVIV, 29 July 2022:
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy today oversaw the preparations for the first grain shipment out of the country since Russia’s invasion.
The leader visited the Black Sea port of Chornomorsk, near Odesa, where he watched a Turkish vessel being loaded with grain ahead of its departure – as part of a deal with Turkey, the UN and Russia to unblock vital food exports and alleviate a looming global crisis.
“We are ready to export Ukrainian grain. We are waiting for signals from our partners to start transport,” Zelenskyy said in a statement on his official Facebook page.
“Our side is fully prepared. We sent all the signals to our partners – the UN and Turkey, and our military guarantees the security situation,” he added in a presidential statement.
“The Minister of Infrastructure is in direct contact with the Turkish side and the UN, we are waiting for a signal from them that we can start.”
Zelenskyy was joined in Chornomorsk by the ambassadors of the US, Canada, Italy, Germany and the UK.
A Bulgarian ship loaded with 40,000 tonnes of corn is set to be the first to travel down the so-called grain corridor through the Black Sea, according to Ukrinform – which reported that vessel had been docked at the Ukrainian port since Feb 21, a few days before Russia’s invasion and subsequent maritime blockade.