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Zelensky discusses grain deal by phone with Stoltenberg

by The Kyiv Independent news desk July 22, 2023 5:49 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky in his office in Kyiv on July 21, 2023. (Photo: President's Office)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky said on July 22 that he spoke with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg by phone about sustaining the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Russia dealt a significant blow to global food security on July 17 by announcing its withdrawal from the grain deal.

Brokered by Turkey and the U.N. last July, the grain deal has allowed Ukraine to export its agricultural products through the Black Sea during wartime. Ukraine is one of the world's top grain suppliers.

The deal has been integral in alleviating global food price surges caused by Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine.

Russia went on to launch a series of missile and drone strikes against Ukraine's port infrastructure in Odesa Oblast and destroyed 60,000 tons of grain after withdrawing from the deal.

According to Zelensky, he and Stoltenberg "determined the priority and future steps necessary for the unblocking and sustainable functioning of the Black Sea grain corridor."

Zelensky also reached out to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the grain deal on July 21.

"We coordinated efforts to restore the operation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Due to Russia's actions, the world is once again on the brink of a food crisis. A total of 400 million people in many countries in Africa and Asia are at risk of starvation," Zelensky said.  

This Week in Ukraine Ep. 17 – Black Sea grain deal is dead. What can Ukraine do?
Episode #17 of our weekly video podcast “This Week in Ukraine” is dedicated to the Black Sea grain deal, how Russia weaponized it, and ultimately killed it. Host Anastasiia Lapatina is joined by the Kyiv Independent’s reporter Alexander Query. Listen to the audio version of the podcast on Apple, S…
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
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