Ukraine wants to extend shipping safe passage agreement beyond grain

  • Three grain ships leave Ukrainian Black Sea ports
  • The first ship to arrive in Ukraine after the start of the war
  • Zelensky says eastern conflict ‘hell’
  • The NATO chief has warned that Putin must not be allowed to win

ISTANBUL/KYIV, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Three grain ships left a Ukrainian port on Friday as the first cargo ship to be loaded in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion. Other commodities like metals.

The July 22 deal marked a rare diplomatic breakthrough as war rages in eastern Ukraine, as Kyiv tries to rebuild its shattered economy after more than five months of conflict.

“We expect that the security guarantees of the UN and our partners in Turkey will continue to work, and food exports from our ports will become stable and predictable for all market participants,” Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Facebook after the ships departed. .

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The first grain ship left Odessa on Monday.

“This agreement is about logistics, about the movement of ships through the Black Sea,” Ukrainian Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka told the Financial Times. “What is the difference between grain and iron ore?”

The Kremlin said the solution could only be found if it was linked to the lifting of restrictions on Russian metal producers.

The United Nations and Turkey brokered a safe passage agreement between Moscow and Kiev after the UN warned of famine following the halt to grain exports from Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, sparking the biggest conflict in Europe since World War II and triggering a global energy and food crisis.

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On Friday, two grain ships from Chornomorsk and one from Odessa carried a total of about 58,000 tons of corn, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.

The Turkish bulk carrier Osprey S, flying the flag of Liberia, will arrive in Chornomorsk on Friday to load grain, Odesa’s regional administration said.

Russia and Ukraine traditionally produce a third of the world’s wheat and Russia is Europe’s main energy supplier. But Russia said on Friday that an expected harvest of 130 million tonnes of grain could not be reached due to weather factors and a lack of spare parts for foreign-made equipment.

Ukraine’s grain exports this season fell 48.6% year-on-year to 1.23 million tonnes, its agriculture ministry said.

middle part

After five months of fighting, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky this week described the pressure on his armed forces in the eastern Donbass region as “hell”.

Moscow seeks to control the Russian-speaking Donbass, which includes Luhansk and Donetsk provinces, where pro-Moscow separatists seized the territory after the Kremlin annexed southern Crimea in 2014.

Zelenskiy spoke of heavy fighting around the town of Avdiyvka and the fortified village of Pisky, where Ukraine has acknowledged a “partial victory” over its Russian adversary in recent days.

Russia’s TASS news agency cited separatist forces as saying that Russian and pro-Russian forces had taken full control of Pisky. They also said fighting was taking place in the town of Bakhmut, north of Donetsk. read more

Ukraine has over the past eight years bolstered defenses in Bisky, which it sees as a buffer zone against Russian-backed forces that hold the city of Donetsk, about 10 km to the southeast.

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Ukrainian General Oleksiy Khromov said his forces had retaken two villages around the eastern city of Sloviansk, but were pushed back to the town of Avdiyvka after being forced to abandon a coal mine seen as a key defensive position.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the attack.

Reuters could not immediately verify either side’s claims about battlefield developments.

The war has displaced millions of people, killed thousands of civilians and left cities, towns and villages in ruins. Ukraine and its Western allies have accused Russian forces of targeting civilians and committing war crimes, charges Russia denies.

Putin said he had launched what he called a “special military operation” in Ukraine to ensure Russian security and protect Russian-speakers in Ukraine. Kiev accuses Moscow of an imperialist-style war to rescue its pro-Western neighbors that shook Russian hegemony when the Soviet Union broke up in 1991.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that war was the most dangerous moment for Europe since World War II and that Russia must not be allowed to win. read more

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Report by Reuters Bureau; Written by Michael Perry and Nick MacPhee; Editing by Stephen Coates, Robert Birzel and Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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