NewsWorldHunger fears mount over Ukraine grain blockade

Hunger fears mount over Ukraine grain blockade

Russian forces may have pulled back from Chernihiv in northern Ukraine, but the damage left behind is still there to see.

The local Mlibor granary reopened in April after Moscow withdrew from the area.

While it meets the country’s demand for corn, production is limited after Russian forces damaged the site through shelling.

Granary CEO Serhii Yarosh says the flour mill is completely out of order.

“The buildings are damaged, the workshops are damaged and the mill. Now we should be milling the flour which our country needs very much.”

Russia’s invasion – which it calls a ‘special military operation’ – has also led to a blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports.

That’s bad news for global food supplies as Ukraine is one of the world’s top producers of grain.

Pierre Vauthier is from the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation.

“Odesa has to be reopened and we need to have an agreement to have it reopened. This diplomatic solution has to be discussed. There are people who can solve the situation and we need to have an agreement. As our secretary general has reminded us.”

Vauthier warned even if a diplomatic solution is reached on reopening the ports, it would still take several months to establish safe export routes.

The Kremlin has rejected claims that Russia has blocked grain exports from Ukraine, saying western sanctions are to blame.

On Thursday (May 26), a senior Turkish official said Ankara was in negotiations with Moscow and Kyiv to open a corridor via Turkey for grain exports from Ukraine.

(Reuters)

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