Ukrainian grain exports may return to "pre-war levels" – US State Department
The US Department of State sees "viable routes" for Ukrainian grain exports, and therefore seeks to return to "pre-war levels" of exports in the coming months
This was stated by James O'Brien, the head of the Office of Sanctions Coordination of the US Department of State, Reuters reports.
"I think we see there are viable routes through Ukraine's territorial waters and overland, and we are aiming ... over the next couple of months to return to exporting at kind of pre-war averages from Ukraine," O'Brien said.
Ukraine used to ship millions of tonnes of food from the Black Sea ports of Odesa and Mykolaiv. But after Russia withdrew from the grain deal on 17 July, it has to rely on ports on the Danube River.
Russia's termination of the grain deal
On July 30, despite the completion of the grain deal, three civilian cargo ships of foreign origin passed the Russian blockade in the Black Sea and anchored in one of Ukraine's grain ports in the Danube Delta.
Southern African countries are trying to convince Russia to return to negotiations on an agreement on the safe export of grain from Black Sea ports, which it abandoned last month.
On August 2, the United States said it had information that Russia was interested in resuming negotiations on the agreement, which ensured safe Black Sea grain exports.
Erdogan also announced an agreement with Putin on a visit to Turkey to discuss the extension of the grain deal.
On August 9, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his intention to resume the grain deal with an “expanded scope” and called on Western countries to “fulfill their promises”.
On August 10, the Ukrainian Navy announced a temporary humanitarian corridor for merchant ships sailing to and from Ukrainian ports.
On August 16, the first vessel left the port of Odesa after Russia announced that it will terminate the grain deal on July 16, 2023.