“We did not allow Russia to destroy our export potential,” Zelensky says after landmark deal
In his daily address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed the agreements signed between Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, and the UN which effectively lifted the blockade on Ukrainian ports. He emphasized that Russia tried to block Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea since the beginning of its renewed invasion.
From the first day of the full-scale invasion, Russia did everything to not just close Ukraine's access to the sea, but to destroy the very potential of our exports – port infrastructure, our railways, warehouses and silos. We did not allow it.
Zelensky also expressed his gratitude to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for their roles in bringing the grain agreement to life.
The Ukrainian President said that 20 million tons of grain would be exported as part of the deal. He also underlined that the deal would enable Ukraine to sell this year’s harvest as well as the previous year’s harvest.
These are the incomes of farmers, the entire agricultural sector and the state budget. These are jobs. These are funds for next year's sowing season.
The Ukrainian President said that there were “approximately $10 billion worth of grain,” in Ukraine’s silos. He said the opening of the grain corridor would present a chance to "reduce the severity of the food crisis provoked by Russia."
There is a chance to prevent a global catastrophe - a famine that could lead to political chaos in many countries of the world, in particular in the countries that help us.
Zelensky also warned against possible provocations by Russia. There might be “some attempts to discredit Ukrainian and international efforts,” he said. “But we trust the UN. Now, it is their responsibility and responsibility of international partners to ensure compliance with the agreements,” he added.
The current agreement will be valid for 120 days, enabling the export of grain and other food products through three Ukrainian ports. The process will be monitored by the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) which will be established in Istanbul.