There is no progress in the process of unblocking Ukrainian ports, because no real tool has been found to guarantee that Russia will not attack them again, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, speaking via video link at a meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly of the African Union on Monday.
"We are conducting complex multi-level negotiations to unblock Ukrainian ports. But you see – there is no progress yet. Because no real tool has been found yet to ensure that Russia does not attack them again," he said.
According to Zelensky, Ukraine is setting up exports by rail and through neighboring countries so that last year's harvest and this year's harvest could reach consumers.
"But it is possible to send a much smaller volume on new routes and in a much longer time. As a result, these are more expensive supplies," he noted.
The food crisis in the world, the President said, "will persist as long as the colonization war continues, Russia's war against our state, and as long as our ports are blocked."
Also, he recalled, Ukraine was one of the main European producers of fertilizers. "And now production is actually stopped – again because of the war. Some producers do not have raw materials and are even able to work because of the threat of Russian missile strikes and other consequences of military actions. Some of the companies are already in combat zones and have simply been crushed by Russian troops."
"Have you heard about this from your Russian partners, with whom you maintain communication? Did they tell you about it? I am sure they are telling you completely different things," Zelensky said.
According to him, Russia "really needs this crisis" because "they are trying to use you and the suffering of people to put pressure on democratic states that have imposed sanctions against Russia."
"I emphasize: the sanctions policy is aimed only at Russia to stop trying to turn Ukraine into its slave," Zelensky said.