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Due to Russia’s efforts to block a UN-brokered deal to export Ukrainian grain, Ukraine's Black Sea ports in Odesa Oblast have been working only at 25-30% of their capacity in recent days, Ukraine's Infrastructure Ministry said.
According to the ministry, seven cargo ships carrying Ukrainian grain departed from the ports of Odesa Oblast on Oct. 23.
A total of 380 vessels carrying 8.5 million metric tonnes of Ukrainian grain have left for Asia, Europe, and Africa since Ukraine and Russia signed the UN-backed grain deal in July.
Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, said on Oct. 13 that Moscow could withhold support for the grain deal’s renewal next month if the UN didn't address its concerns.
Oct. 22, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia ‘deliberately provokes a food crisis’ by delaying cargo ships with grain from Ukraine.
The grain export deal was signed on July 22 in Istanbul to alleviate a global food crisis over Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports.
According to a joint investigation by the Associated Press and PBS, Russia has used forged paperwork to steal at least $530 million in Ukrainian grain.