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Ukraine's wheat export crisis escalates, what you need to know

Ukraine's wheat export crisis escalates, what you need to know

For months, Ukraine and allied countries have tried to defuse a growing food crisis caused by Russia's months-long blockade of Ukrainian ports, with Moscow accused of using food as a weapon of war.

On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said up to 60 million tonnes of grain could be stuck in the country until autumn if it continues to face blocked exports.

"Then we will be in a really difficult situation, very difficult," he said. The president added that he was working with the United Nations to try to open a safe corridor that would allow Ukraine to export wheat from its Black Sea ports.

Ukraine has long been described as one of the world's breadbaskets. But Kiev accuses Moscow of blocking its ports and trying to steal its grain. The UN has said that Russia's blockade of Ukraine's ports has already raised global food prices and threatens to cause a catastrophic food shortage in some parts of the world. Russia has repeatedly denied that it is blocking ports or stealing grain.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that the international community would have to find "alternative routes" to transport wheat supplies from Ukraine. Johnson suggested using railway lines or the Danube River if the Bosphorus Strait in Turkey could not be supported.

Kiev has called on Ankara to stop a Russian-flagged ship carrying wheat from Ukraine. Ukraine's ambassador to Turkey Vasyl Bodnar said the ship Zhibek Zholy was loaded in the southeastern port of Berdiansk.

"It is possible that the wheat was delivered from neighboring areas, but the loading point was Berdiansk, that is, the occupied territory," he said. According to Bodnar, Turkey's Ministry of Trade responded to the initial appeal by saying the ship will remain docked near the port of Karasu without being allowed to unload or turn back while Turkey evaluates Ukraine's request.

Rreth 2 milionë tonë grurë po korren nga fushat në rajonin jugor të Zaporizhzhia, i cili kontrollohet nga forcat ruse, sipas Yevgeniy Balitsky, kreut ushtarak të zonave të pushtuara nga Rusia të Zaporizhzhia. "Furnizimi me drithë lehtësohet nga bashkëpunimi i ngushtë me autoritetet e Krimesë, të cilët siguruan kalim të papenguar nëpër pikat doganore dhe kufitare," tha Balitsky. Ukraina ka akuzuar Rusinë se ka përvetësuar furnizimin me drithë të vitit të kaluar nga territoret e pushtuara në jug të vendit.

The UN has said that Russia's war in Ukraine could push up to 49 million people into starvation or famine-like conditions due to its devastating impact on global food supplies and prices. Last month, Zelensky said Africa had been "held hostage" by Russia's war and warned that the global food crisis would continue "as long as this colonizing war continues", affecting the lives of up to 400 million people who depend on Ukrainian exports.

Source: CNN

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