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Kubrakov Says First Grain Shipments From Ukraine May Be This Week

By RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service July 25, 2022

Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov says he hopes the first shipments of grain under a deal mediated by the United Nations and Turkey will leave the country's Chornomorsk port this week.

Speaking at a news conference on July 25, Kubrakov said there was no limit stipulated in the deal as to the amount of grain that could be shipped from Ukraine.

"We expect the agreement to start working in the coming days...We are preparing for everything to start this week," said Kubrakov, who led Ukraine's delegation at talks to clinch the deal in Istanbul last week.

Deputy Infrastructure Minister Yuriy Vasyukov added at the same news conference that after Chornomorsk, shipments will then follow from Odesa and Pivdeny. The timeframe for all three ports to be functioning is within two weeks, he added.

Under the grain deal, exports of Ukrainian grain from three Black Sea ports would be restored to prewar levels of some 5 million tons a month.

Russian missile strikes in Odesa on July 24 raised questions about Russia's commitment to the agreement, but Kubrakov said technical preparations for the launch of exports of agricultural products from the ports continue.

Ukraine is one of the world's largest exporters of wheat, corn, and sunflower oil, but Russia's invasion of the country and its naval blockade of Ukrainian ports have halted shipments.

That has caused global food price to spike, leaving millions of people in impoverished countries at risk of hunger and sparking fears of social unrest.

Kyiv has said around 20 million tons of grain from last year's harvest and the current crop would be exported under the agreement. The exports could generate $10 billion in revenue for cash-strapped Ukraine.

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-first-grain- shipments-this-week/31958819.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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