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Zelensky: Supporting Ukraine means preventing world hunger. 5 million tons of agricultural products were exported monthly through blocked ports

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“One of the problems I face every day is food security. More and more countries around the world are realizing that Russia, by blocking the Black Sea and continuing this war, is putting dozens of other countries in danger of a food price crisis and even famine. This is another incentive for our anti-war coalition to act more decisively together. Now, support for Ukraine – and especially with weapons – means working to prevent global famine. The sooner we clear our land and guarantee the security of Ukraine, the sooner the normal state of the food market can be restored, “he said.

Zelenski noted that the situation in Donbas remains very difficult. “Russian troops are still trying to show at least some victory. On the 80th day of the large-scale invasion, it seems particularly insane, but I do not stop all this effort. I am grateful to all those fighting in Donbas, Pryazovia and “We are forcing the occupiers to leave our land step by step. We will make them leave the sea of ​​Ukraine as well,” the Ukrainian president said.

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The agricultural and food sector is responsible for almost 10% of Ukraine’s GDP. Last year, the neighboring country exported $ 28 billion worth of food worldwide, including seven billion euros worth of food to the EU. Before the war, Nearly five million tons of agricultural products were delivered each month through Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea, which are blocked by Russian ships.

The EU and Ukraine are working non-stop to find a solution by the summer, as Ukraine has to export at least 25 million tonnes of frozen food to the country before the new harvest.

However, there are limits on the quantities that can be transported on land routes. The maximum export capacity by rail is estimated at 1.1 million tons of grain per month and 250,000 tons of sunflower oil, Roman Slaston, general manager of the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club, estimated last month. According to him, there are challenges in reaching this maximum capacity, which is even lower than what was normally exported by sea.

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In addition, Ukrainian products face a multitude of phytosanitary measures and quotas on land transport, which complicates their ability to pass through different Member States to their final destination.

European officials recently stressed that finding a solution for Ukraine’s food exports should be a priority as this would reduce not only the global food crisis but also ensure that revenues would cover Kiev’s urgent financial needs.

“Ukraine is a rich country, the granary of Europe. “Right now the country is on the brink of last year’s harvest with a value of eight billion euros that it cannot export by sea,” European Investment Bank director Werner Hoyer said on Tuesday.

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