President of Ukraine

The humanitarian initiative 'Grain from Ukraine' has been extended – Volodymyr Zelenskyy following Grain from Ukraine second summit

25 November 2023 - 18:59

The humanitarian initiative 'Grain from Ukraine' has been extended – Volodymyr Zelenskyy following Grain from Ukraine second summit

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced that the humanitarian initiative "Grain from Ukraine" has been extended, with over $100 million already accumulated for its goals. The Head of State made this statement during a meeting with media representatives following the second international summit "Grain from Ukraine" held in Kyiv.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy highlighted the symbolism of hosting an international event dedicated to stopping Russia in its attempts to repeat the crimes of the 20th century today on the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor-genocide of 1932–1933 in Ukraine. According to the President, only together can all nations that value international law resist this evil.

The Head of State expressed gratitude to all guests, foreign partners, and friends for the consolidated and powerful support of Ukraine and for jointly commemorating the victims of the Holodomor in Kyiv.

The President said that the main focus during meetings within the framework of the second summit "Grain from Ukraine" was given to the Ukrainian humanitarian initiative "Grain from Ukraine" and the preservation of our country's global role as a donor of food security.

"Due to Russia's aggression in the Black Sea, one of the largest threats to global stability in the past decades has arisen, particularly regarding food supply. This has had consequences in both price fluctuations and the physical shortage of food in the markets of regions critically dependent on the import of grains and other types of food products that Ukraine exports. And this export holds special significance in the global market," he said.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy reminded that since the onset of full-scale aggression by Russia, our country, along with partners, has created Solidarity Lanes in Europe for export, including Ukrainian food. The Danube region is working increasingly robustly and ensuring the necessary export. Ukraine has gradually managed to restore exports from Black Sea ports as well.

As the Head of State emphasized, Ukraine has now united countries around the world to attract the necessary funds to help those who suffer the most from food shortages. In the first year of the "Grain from Ukraine" initiative, it was able to accumulate $180 million for these needs, with over 30 participants joining. Within the initiative, 170,000 tonnes of Ukrainian grain were delivered to Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Yemen.

"Our position is principled: no one in the world has the right to block free navigation and weaponize food scarcity. The use of hunger as a weapon is an element of genocide policy, and any state that engages in it must be held accountable," the President said.

As emphasized by Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the global moral duty of all states is to prevent anyone from starving in the modern world. According to him, this year, the "Grain from Ukraine" program has been extended, with over $100 million already accumulated.

"This is our shared historical responsibility – to limit Russia's aggressive potential, protect our people, our states, and help others in the world, including countries of the Global South, gain enough strength to resist destabilization," the Head of State said.

President of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs stated that by hindering the delivery of food, Russia is attempting to intimidate not only Ukraine but also many countries in the Global South and the entire international community. He expressed full support for the "Grain from Ukraine" initiative.

"We financially contributed to this initiative last year and have joined again this year," Edgars Rinkēvičs said.

The President of Latvia also said that his country collaborates with Ukrainian and European partners to ensure Baltic corridors and the use of its ports for transiting Ukrainian food and grain.

"I think it's very important that we continue to cooperate to alleviate the humanitarian situation worldwide. We collaborate to ensure that Russia cannot weaponize food. It is also very important that we work together in various formats along the Solidarity Lanes through the EU and through bilateral contacts," he said.

In addition, Edgars Rinkēvičs shared his impressions of the previous night in Kyiv, when he was forced to spend six hours in a bomb shelter due to a heavy Russian drone attack. He assured Latvia would urge partners to provide Ukraine with air defense capabilities.

"The Ukrainian air defense is doing its job. But one message is absolutely clear: we must do everything possible to provide Ukraine with more air defense capabilities, more ammunition, more military equipment, not only to assist on the battlefield but also to protect civilians," he concluded.

President of the Swiss Confederation Alain Berset also said that his country is joining the support for Ukraine.

"Switzerland is very concerned about the negative consequences of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, especially its impact on the food security of Ukraine and the entire world," the President of the Swiss Confederation said.

Alain Berset welcomed Volodymyr Zelenskyy's grain initiative and announced that Switzerland is joining this program. In addition, humanitarian mine clearing in Ukraine will be a priority, positively influencing the strengthening of food security.

"We have also adopted a decision on an additional package of CHF 100 million for the next few years. This will help increase our involvement in demining efforts and promote the export of grains from Ukraine. It is crucial that grain and fertilizers reach European markets," he said.

According to the President of the Swiss Confederation, his country will also contribute to documenting the consequences of destruction and the reconstruction process, as well as working towards the creation of an international tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.

Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė pointed out that despite full-scale aggression and all attempts by Russia to block exports, Ukraine continues to feed the world.

Ingrida Šimonytė announced that Lithuania, like last year, is joining the humanitarian initiative "Grain from Ukraine."

"Today, we provide an additional EUR 2 million, which will reach Ukraine by the end of this year," she said.

"We are exploring alternative grain export routes, including the Solidarity Lanes and new corridors. We will be ready to increase the transit capacities of our ports for Ukrainian exports, creating another opportunity, a corridor through the Baltic Sea for exporting Ukrainian products," Ingrida Šimonytė reassured.

According to her, ensuring security, especially food security, on the continent and globally is possible only by defeating Russia, and Ukraine is getting closer to this goal every day. Therefore, Ukrainian partners and allies should not get tired; they must do everything possible to accelerate this victory, the Prime Minister of Lithuania said.