UN chief Guterres visits Odesa port to see grain exports in action

Kiev: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres visited the Ukrainian port city of Odesa to see the recently resumed export of grain.

Guterres said the resumption of food exports following a deal with Russia was pleasing, but that he also felt sadness looking at the port’s practically empty terminals, according to the UN press service on Friday.

At the same time, he praised July’s agreement reached by the warring parties under UN and Turkish mediation. In less than a month, more than 600,000 tons of grain have left Ukraine in 25 ships, he added.

The UN chief stressed the need to ensure access to both Ukrainian and Russian food exports, according to the UN as quoted by dpa news agency report.

Getting more food and fertiliser out of Ukraine and Russia is important for commodity markets and prices, he said, adding that no one expected the implementation of the initiative to be easy.

After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Ukrainian ports were blocked for months. The country is one of the world’s top grain exporters.

A large part of the cargo leaving Ukraine so far has gone to richer states, even though the UN had said the grain agreement was crucial because of the threat of famine in African and Asian countries.

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