Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hosted a summit in Kyiv with allied nations on Saturday to launch a plan to export $150 million value of grain to international locations most susceptible to famine and drought.
The “Grain from Ukraine” initiative demonstrated international meals safety was “not simply empty phrases” for Kyiv, he stated.
The Kremlin says meals exported from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports underneath a U.N.-brokered plan has not been reaching probably the most susceptible international locations.
Zelensky stated Kyiv had raised $150 million from greater than 20 international locations and the European Union to export grain to international locations together with Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
“We plan to ship a minimum of 60 vessels from Ukrainian ports to international locations that the majority face the specter of famine and drought,” Zelensky advised the gathering.
The summit was attended in-person by the prime ministers of Belgium, Poland and Lithuania and the president of Hungary. Germany and France’s presidents and the pinnacle of the European Fee delivered speeches by video.
A joint assertion issued after the summit stated that since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, the world had obtained 10 million tons fewer agricultural merchandise than in the identical interval in 2021.
“Because of this the meals safety of thousands and thousands of individuals around the globe is significantly threatened,” it stated, blaming a Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports earlier within the battle.
“We’re satisfied that we are going to collectively overcome the grave humanitarian and financial penalties of the worldwide meals disaster attributable to Russia’s aggressive conflict in opposition to Ukraine,” it stated.
The gathering coincided with Ukraine’s annual memorial day for Holodomor, the man-made Stalin-era famine that killed thousands and thousands of Ukrainians within the winter of 1932-33.
In a video handle, French President Emmanuel Macron introduced a contribution of 6 million euros ($6.24 million) for the transport and distribution by the World Meals Programme of Ukrainian grain to Yemen and Sudan.
“Essentially the most susceptible international locations should not pay the value of a conflict they didn’t need,” he stated.
($1 = 0.9620 euros)