Zelenskyy says ‘practical actions’ needed by UN to ensure safety of grain corridor

Zelenskyy says ‘practical actions’ needed by UN to ensure safety of grain corridor

‘Grain corridor will not be safe unless UN starts working at level of Secretary-General very clearly, firmly,’ says Ukrainian president

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday emphasized the necessity for "practical actions" by the UN to guarantee the safety of the grain corridor in the Black Sea.

"The (grain) corridor must be safe. In fact, knowing Russia, it will not be safe unless the UN starts working at the level of the Secretary-General (Antonio Guterres) very clearly and very firmly," Zelenskyy said during a press conference with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the capital Kyiv.

"In addition to his words, which were powerful enough, practical actions are needed. We haven't seen this yet," said the Ukrainian president.

His remarks came in the wake of Russia's decision to suspend its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative on Monday.

Zelenskyy said that Ukraine and Türkiye are working at different levels in this regard, and that he and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan can talk about how they can ensure the security of the corridor.

“There are different dimensions here. We raised issues regarding individual convoys – they need to be discussed not only with Türkiye but also with our other partners. I am going to discuss it," Zelenskyy said.

He further expressed that he is waiting on information from the Ukrainian military regarding the security situation in order to continue the operation of the grain deal.

"The UN, Türkiye, and the military – everyone can say that no one gives 100% guarantees. But this is a very easy position. For Ukraine as a state, this is not a position that we are ready to accept because we need the corridor to function. And we have every right to do so," he further said.

The Kremlin announced Monday that it had suspended Russia’s participation in the Black Sea grain deal, saying the Russian part of the agreement was not implemented.

The agreement, initially signed in July of last year in Istanbul by Türkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine, was aimed at resuming grain exports from Ukrainian ports which had been halted as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war which began in February 2022.

For his part, Varadkar said Ireland will continue to back Ukraine, both in practical and political terms.

“We are giving a further €5 million ($5.5 million) in humanitarian aid to Ukraine – €3 million to be spent in Ukraine by the Red Cross for its vital work, and €2 million to the UN fund,” Varadkar added.​​​​​​​

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