LEOPOLIS, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was scheduled to receive the United Nations secretary-general and the Turkish president on Thursday to discuss the recent agreement to resume Ukrainian grain exports the unstable situation at a central occupied by Russia and the efforts to end the war started almost six months ago.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Lviv, near the Ukrainian border with Poland, on Wednesday, where he will meet Zelenskyy and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The number two of the United Nations, Farhan Haq, said that among other issues, Guterres will address “his efforts in general to do what he can to reduce the temperature as much as possible with the different authorities.”
Turkey and the UN helped broker a deal last month to allow Ukraine to export 22 million tons of corn and other grains blocked at its Black Sea ports since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion. Another agreement between Russia and the UN was intended to clear the way for Russian shipments of food and fertilizer to reach international markets.
The war and blocked exports have greatly aggravated the global food crisis, as Russia and Ukraine are major suppliers of food.
Grain prices peaked after the Russian invasion, and while some have returned to pre-war levels, they remain significantly higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Developing countries have been particularly affected by lack of supply and high prices. Although the ships are already leaving Russia and the Ukraine, the food crisis is not over.