Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney visited Ukraine yesterday to gather facts about the ongoing war and to reaffirm Ireland’s support for the country.
r Coveney was in the port of Odessa in southern Ukraine to see the work of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
The Fine Gael minister met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba during the day-long visit.
It was the second time Mr Coveney has traveled to Ukraine in recent months.
He said the purpose of the trip is to continue to show solidarity with Ukraine and get a detailed update from Mr. Kuleba.
Mr Coveney was in Ukraine with his Lithuanian counterpart, Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis.
The Foreign Secretary said the visit would help Ireland make “appropriate contributions” based on facts on the ground.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative is part of a mechanism to export grain and other crops from Ukraine to ease pressure on the global food crisis.
“This has been one of the UN’s achievements in recent months, reaching an agreement between Russia and Ukraine and coordinating with Turkey to facilitate the export of millions of tons of grain and other agricultural products from Odessa. where they had effectively piled up and were in danger of rotting,” Mr Coveney told RTÉ.
“Nearly a quarter of grain traded globally comes from Ukraine and Russia, so it has a huge impact on food security in parts of the world that are already struggling to feed their populations.
“It has also had a huge impact on grain and food prices in Ireland and around the world.”
Mr Coveney said Ireland was already doing a lot to support Ukraine.
“It’s important that we understand what’s actually happening on the ground because there’s a lot of misinformation out there,” he added.
“So far, this initiative has allowed three million tons of grain to leave Odessa and enter the ports.
“Ships are escorted by the Ukrainian Coast Guard and then effectively directed to Istanbul where they are inspected by Ukrainian, Russian and UN officials and then they are allowed to set sail.
“To date, around 140 ships have been admitted to the port of Odessa through this mechanism, and we believe that as progress continues and confidence in their safety grows, this initiative could export up to five million tons of grain from Odessa per month, which is in terms of food security.” and grain prices across the EU would make a big difference.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/simon-coveney-visits-odesa-in-show-of-solidarity-with-ukrainians-41990638.html Simon Coveney visits Odessa in solidarity with Ukrainians