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Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenski on Monday welcomed the departure from Ukraine of the first shipment of grain to Turkey, although he warned that “it is not the time to draw conclusions”, calling for caution.
“As of now, it is not the time to draw conclusions and predict future events. But the port has started to work, export traffic has started, and this can be called the first positive sign that there is a possibility to stop the development of the food crisis in the world,” the Ukrainian president said in his daily message to the population of the country.
But despite the good news, Zelensky has warned that it is not a good idea “to be under the illusion that Russia will simply refrain from trying to disrupt Ukrainian exports.”
“Russia consciously provoked famines in the countries of Africa and Asia, which traditionally imported large volumes of Ukrainian food. And now, in conditions of extreme heat this year in Europe, the threat of a price crisis and some food shortage is also present for some European countries,” the Ukrainian president added.
For this reason, he has urged to see how exports evolve and to assess whether there will really be safety. “So far, 16 ships are waiting their turn to sail. We are ready to make a proper contribution to the stabilization of the world food market,” he added.
For his part, the head of the Russian National Defense, Mikhail Mizintsev, has assured on Monday that Russia “that will ensure the safety of grain shipments from Ukraine.”
“Russia is taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety of civilian shipping and prevent provocations along the crossing route,” the Russian Defense Ministry representative said, as reported by DPA.
In this regard, Mizintsev detailed that ships will be able to leave the ports of Odessa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhne daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (local time) and that Russia has enabled a corridor 139 kilometers long and three kilometers wide.
“However, the danger remains that Ukrainian mines will break loose from their moorings along the coast and drift,” the Russian official has maintained in a statement on the Russian Defense Ministry’s Telegram channel.