Vital grain ‘caravans’ from Ukraine set to sail

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Kyiv said work was underway at three ports to create “green corridors” to allow wheat to be shipped abroad. The UN said “crucial” safe passage details were still being thrashed out but ships could start leaving imminently.

Some 25 million tons of grain have been trapped in silos for months, sparking fears of a worldwide food crisis. Ukraine’s President Volodomyr Zelensky warned this could hit 75 million tons after this year’s harvest.

Russia last week signed a deal to allow safe passage through the heavily mined Black Sea.

But it broke its word the very next day, launching a rocket attack on port city Odesa.

However, Ukrainian officials on Friday said last minute work on safe routes out of southern ports Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi was being finalised.

Spokesman Serhiy Bratchuk revealed once they were fully established, “caravans” of ships led by Ukrainian naval vessels will sail through the Black Sea.

Mr Bratchuk said Ukraine intended to stick to the deal and pledged to carry out its obligations, despite the threat of Kremlin “aggression”.

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