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Ukraine’s president says millions of tons of grain trapped in country

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KYIV, UKRAINE - JUNE 6: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY – MANDATORY CREDIT - "UKRAINIAN PRESIDENCY / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks during his meeting with journalists within Journalists' Day in Kyiv, Ukraine on June 6, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidency - Anadolu Agency)
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Jun 07, 2022 - 10:33 AM

KYIV, Ukraine (AA) – Ukraine’s president said Monday that up to 25 million tons of grain are blocked in his country as he sought a secure corridor for Ukrainian vessels to ship it out to head off food shortages in some parts of the world.

Speaking to the press, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said negotiations on grain exports are ongoing with the UN as well as the Baltic countries and Poland but that the latter route is not an option because Ukraine cannot export large shipments of grain via rail due to long delivery times and transporting it through Russia’s ally Belarus is not an option.

He said Ukraine can export 10 million tons of grain every month through the port of Odesa, but this is not enough.

“If now we have 22-25 million tons blocked there, in the fall, we might have 75 (million tons). What are we going to do? So we cannot do without the ports.”

Zelenskyy also said there is no plan yet to end the war with Russia and peace talks with Moscow are at a standstill, adding “everyone wants to push us as far as possible towards a conclusion that is absolutely useless for us.”

Noting that more than 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers were taken out of Azovstal and held captive in Russia, he said they are working to get all Ukrainian war prisoners back home.

*Writing by Seda Sevencan

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