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Zelensky: Xi Jinping voices 'words of support' for grain deal
Chinese leader Xi Jinping voiced "words of support" for the Black Sea Grain Initiative and its continuation, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address on April 26.
"It is very important that China shares our views on freedom of navigation and trade," Zelensky added.
Zelensky talked with Xi Jinping on April 26 for the first time since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began.
The UN and Turkey-brokered grain deal, first signed in July 2022, has been paramount in subduing soaring food prices worldwide. Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat, sunflower oil, and other food products worldwide.
Since the Black Sea grain deal was agreed upon last summer, Ukraine has exported 28.7 million tons of grain via some of its Black Sea ports, of which 6.7 million tons went to China.
Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov announced on March 18 that the grain deal had been extended for another 120 days despite Russia's threats that it would not agree to prolong it. The deal can only continue if all parties involved come to an agreement.
Following his call with the Chinese leader, Zelensky later tweeted that he hopes the "long and meaningful phone call" and the new appointment of Ukraine's ambassador to China would "give a powerful impetus" to the development of relations between the two countries.