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Second international summit “Grain from Ukraine” was held in Kyiv

Strengthening Ukraine’s role as a guarantor of food security, consolidating efforts to ensure global food security, and developing alternative logistics options for exporting Ukrainian agricultural products were among the key topics for discussion. 

“Grain from Ukraine” is a humanitarian food program launched by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on November 26, 2022. It is aimed at assisting those nations that suffer the most from food shortages and enabling the transportation of agricultural products from Ukraine even while facing Russia’s aggression.

Photo: Presidential Office of Ukraine

President of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs, President of Switzerland Alain Berset, and Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė personally took part in the second “Grain from Ukraine” summit. At the same time, representatives from other Ukrainian partner states delivered video addresses during the conference.

Making a speech, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Russia will keep trying to use food shortages and weaponize hunger. He recalled that on the first day of the full-scale war, the Russian fleet blocked Ukrainian seaports and food export from Ukraine.

“The stability of the food market is crucial for dozens of countries and hundreds of millions of people across the vast expanse from West Africa to East Asia,” the Head of State said.

Read more: How Russia threatens world food security during the war in Ukraine.

At the same time, Zelenskyy emphasized that Ukraine will not lose its strength and freedom and will be able to defend the global understanding that Russian terror must be defeated.

“I am proud of all Ukrainians who managed to restore security in the Black Sea so that Ukrainian ports could operate again for the sake of global food security and our exports. I am grateful to all leaders and countries present here who are helping us resist Russian terror and protect lives worldwide,” said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Photo: Presidential Office of Ukraine

According to Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian humanitarian initiative “Grain from Ukraine” has already united nearly 40 countries and international organizations. “We are providing assistance despite constant Russian terror and ongoing Russian attempts to disrupt our food exports. Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen, Kenya… They have already received over 170,000 tonnes of food [Ukrainian agricultural products – ed.] thanks to our joint humanitarian initiative. This is a lifeline for millions of lives,” the Head of State informed.

Furthermore, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that another vessel within the Initiative is being prepared to transport grain cargo to a port in Nigeria, which will help nearly 400,000 people.

The Head of State highlighted that the Ukrainian people, once experienced a terrible artificially induced famine by the enemy, particularly perceive the threat of hunger for any other nation.

“Never again should hunger become a weapon against the freedom of people. And anyone who tries to use hunger in such a way, anyone whose terror creates chaos in the food market, must be held accountable before the entire world. Russia must be held accountable. I am confident that it will be,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized.

Read more: Holodomor – the artificial famine that killed millions of Ukrainians.

Ukraine also expects additional air defense systems to protect the grain corridor in the Black Sea and the Odesa region. As Zelenskyy mentioned during the conference, “relevant agreements with partner countries are already in place and being implemented”.

“We have a clear corridor and cooperation for its use with Bulgaria, Romania, and Türkiye. We have agreements with the United Kingdom, involved in ensuring this corridor. Corresponding results should be. I have an agreement with several states regarding the robust escort by Ukrainians, a convoy. We are already receiving appropriate naval boats for this purpose,” the President of Ukraine concluded.

Photo: Oleksandr Kubrakov, Minister for Communities, Territories,
and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine

As a result of the second international summit “Grain from Ukraine,” a Joint Statement supported by 23 countries was adopted. It defined “increasing pressure on Russia” and “prioritizing global food security” as the main points.  

In total, since the “Grain from Ukraine” initiative was established in November 2022, more than 25 countries have pledged about $220 million to support this humanitarian program.