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Ukrainian ports open after Russian blockade

The United Nations and Turkey have been trying to broker a solution for more than two months. On Friday afternoon, representatives of Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement to open up the export of grain. The agreement is with intermediary parties, not between states.

– Today, the beacon of hope shines over the Black Sea, says UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who confirms that an agreement has been reached.

– This is an agreement for the whole world.

At a press conference, he said that it concerns three ports, including the one in Odessa, which is the largest in Ukraine. The United Nations expects shipments to return to normal within two weeks, Reuters writes. After that, five million tons of grain will be shipped each week.

Erdogan says the agreement will help bring down soaring food prices and reduce the risk of starvation in the world.

The blockade imposed by the Russian Black Sea Fleet on the Ukrainian coast meant that cargo ships laden with grain, among other things, had been unable to leave the country for several months. As Ukraine is one of the world’s largest producers, the export disruption has heightened concerns about food shortages and pushed food prices up in parts of the world.

Russia has relinquished its responsibility for the crisis and blamed the sanctions on the West.

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