Greece offers ships to export grain from blocked Ukrainian ports, NATO says
Greece is willing to provide ships to help export grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports that have been blocked by Russia, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.
Ukraine is one of the top global wheat suppliers, but shipments have been halted by Russia’s invasion, causing global food shortages. The United Nations has appealed to both sides, as well as maritime neighbour Turkey, to agree to a corridor.
“Greece announced that they are ready to make available ships to get the grain out of Ukraine,” Stoltenberg told reporters on the third and last day of a NATO summit in Madrid.
NATO member Turkey has held direct talks with Moscow and the United Nations on the plan and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said from Madrid on Wednesday that he hoped diplomacy would help solve the issues around Ukraine’s grain exports.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis added that his country “has a special role to play in this effort as it controls the world’s largest merchant fleet.
“Greece, once again, is offering to help and support any effort made, under the auspices of the United Nations, in order for the grain currently trapped in Ukraine, primarily in Odessa, to leave Ukraine and eventually end up in the countries that need it today,” Mitsotakis told reporters.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Sabine Siebold and Belen Carreno, Renee Maltezou in Athens; Editing by Jon Boyle and Edmund Blair)