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Ukraine Hopes to Ship Grain Despite Russian Attack

Ukraine says grain exports will suffer if strikes continue

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot

Ukraine said on Monday it hoped a U.N.-brokered deal aimed at easing global food shortages by resuming grain exports from the Black Sea region would start to be implemented this week, Reuters reported.

Officials from Ukraine, Russia, the United Nations and Turkey agreed on Friday there would be no attacks on merchant ships moving through the Black Sea to Turkey's Bosphorus Strait and on to markets and pledged to set up a monitoring center.

Russia attacks port one day after brokered deal

Russian missile strikes on Saturday hit the southern Ukrainian port of Odesa, just one day after Ukraine and Russia agreed on a grain deal.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russia's missile attack "casts serious doubt" on the grain deal reached by Russia and Ukraine just the day before.

"This attack casts serious doubt on the credibility of Russia's commitment to yesterday's deal and undermines the work of the UN, Turkey, and Ukraine to get critical food to world markets. Russia bears responsibility for deepening the global food crisis and must stop its aggression and fully implement the deal to which it has agreed," Blinken wrote in his statement.

A senior Ukrainian government official told Reuters he hoped the first grain shipment from Ukraine could be made from Chornomorsk this week, with shipments from other ports mentioned in the deal within two weeks.

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