UN Chief, Ukrainian and Turkish Presidents to Meet

VOA FILE – In this image provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres walk in a hallway during their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, April 28, 2022.

The United Nations said Tuesday that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will meet Thursday in western Ukraine with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the invitation to the tripartite meeting was made by Zelenskyy.

The leaders represent three of the four members in the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Russia is the fourth member. The deal, signed in Istanbul on July 22, has allowed for the resumption of Ukrainian grain exports to the international market, while removing some obstacles to the sale of Russian fertilizer and food stuffs.

Some 20 million metric tons of Ukrainian grain has been stuck in silos and on about two dozen ships in the country’s southern ports since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

The situation has driven up the price of food on global markets at a time when the World Food Program warns that a record 345 million people in 82 countries are now facing acute food insecurity, while up to 50 million people in 45 countries are on the brink of famine. Before the war, Ukrainian food exports fed an estimated 400 million people worldwide.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative has been working smoothly since the Joint Coordination Center that oversees the operation went online on July 27. Since then, the JCC has authorized 21 vessels to leave Ukraine’s southern ports of Odesa, Chernomorsk and Pivdennyi (also known as Yuzhny) carrying 563,317 metric tons of grain and other foodstuffs. Fifteen more ships have been cleared to enter the ports to pick up food cargo. They are moving through a maritime humanitarian corridor in the Black Sea.

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About Joel Cholo Brooks 13584 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.
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