According to a spokesperson for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, there is a high possibility that the first shipment of valuable grain will leave Ukrainian ports under a joint agreement to unblock Ukrainian ports to agricultural trade.
“If all (details) are completed by tomorrow, it seems like there is a high possibility that the first ship will leave the port tomorrow…We will see ships leaving the ports the next day at the latest,” spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said on 31 July.
Speaking with Turkish broadcaster Kanal 7, Kalin stated that the joint coordination centre in Istanbul will soon establish the final export routes and necessary logistical networks. Exports of Ukrainian grain is set to leave from the Ukrainian ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Pivdennyi.
The UN-brokered agreement, signed in Istanbul, is intended to ease the rapidly escalating food crisis caused by a sudden drop in exports of grain from Ukraine and Russia, who are both major exporters of foodstuffs to the developing world.
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European Foreign Minister Josep Borrel has previously described the export of Ukrainian wheat a “matter of life or death” due to the heavy reliance of many nations on Ukraine’s affordable cereals. Some 20 million tonnes of grain has been trapped in Ukrainian ports since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The IRC has warned that some 3 million people in East Africa are at risk of life-threatening hunger due to several failed growing seasons and the high cost of grain due to the war in Ukraine.