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U.S. partners will assist Ukraine in restoring its port infrastructure, which has suffered frequent attacks by Russian forces in the past weeks, the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority announced on Aug. 30.
The state company overseeing Ukraine's maritime transport signed a memorandum with the U.S. ports of South Louisiana and New Orleans to cooperate in the planning, development, construction, administration, operation, and maintenance of Ukrainian port infrastructure.
The cooperation will also involve the authorities of Ukraine's largest port, the Odesa Sea Port, according to the announcement.
"As two of the world's leading grain exporters, the farmers and workers of the United States and Ukraine are tough and take pride in their role in feeding the world," said Paul Matthews, the CEO of the South Louisana Port.
"This agreement solidifies Port of South Louisiana's support for the Ukrainian people in the defense of their freedom and creates an alliance with our Ukrainian port partners that focuses on our shared mission of serving global customers and creating economic prosperity for our communities."
Russia's withdrawal from the grain deal and subsequent strikes against Ukrainian ports sparked fears of food insecurity worldwide as prices of grain products began to rise following the agreement's collapse.
Ukraine's grain exports are vital to the world's food supply. Before the full-scale invasion, the country was the fifth-largest wheat exporter globally. The grain deal had allowed for nearly 33 million metric tons of food to be exported through Ukrainian ports while it was in force, according to the U.N.