President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 29 visited the Chornomorsk seaport in Odesa Oblast, where Ukrainian grain is now being loaded for export for the first time since Russia's full-scale invasion began on Feb. 24.
Ukraine's ports open back up following a UN-backed deal signed by Ukraine and Russia on July 22 to end Russia's five-month-long Black Sea naval blockade that had threatened the world's food supply.
According to Zelenksy, a Turkish vessel at the port was the first to be loaded with grain.
“It is important for us to remain the guarantor of global food security. While some, by blocking the Black Sea, take the lives of other countries, we make it possible for them to survive,” Zelensky said.
According to Zelensky, Ukraine is now waiting for “signals” from the UN and Turkey and is ready to start exporting grain in the coming days.
The president also met with G7 ambassadors who arrived in Odesa earlier today.
Sixteen vessels with Ukrainian grain at the Odesa seaport are also soon to depart, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy chief of staff for President Zelensky. The vessels have around 580,000 tons of Ukrainian grain, Tymoshenko said.
Earlier on July 22, Russia and Ukraine signed UN-backed agreements to resume exports of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea. It envisioned safe passage of Ukrainian grain from three southwestern ports in Odesa Oblast. Russian forces, however, attacked the Black Sea trade port in Odesa the day after the agreement was signed.