30 Jun 2022 15:44

Ukraine cannot properly export grain without access to Black Sea ports - UN World Food Program

MOSCOW. June 30 (Interfax) - Ukraine cannot efficiently export grain without using Black Sea ports, United Nations World Food Program (WFP) Deputy Emergency Coordinator Kate Newton said.

"Obviously, the opening of the Black Sea ports is the most important avenue to get Ukraine back to where it needs to be. And without the Black Sea ports, we cannot get anywhere close to the kind of export levels that Ukraine urgently needs," Ukrainian media outlets quoted Newton as saying at a press briefing at the Ukrayina media center in Kyiv on Thursday.

"However, we're doing everything we can, which means by road, by rail, and now by river, to try to get close to the maximum output. And at the moment we think it's about 1 million metric tonnes a month, and maybe we can push up to 2 million, but we urgently need access to the Black Sea in Ukraine," she said.

Before February 24, Ukraine exported up to 6 million tonnes of grain a month, and about 400 million people across the world benefited from Ukrainian produce in 2021, she said.

"We need to try to empty the storage facilities across Ukraine, so we need to make sure that the wheat, and the barley, and the sunflowers, and everything that we see growing across Ukraine can be harvested and have somewhere to go," Newton said.