Ukrainian PM, European Council president discuss issues of Ukraine's agri exports

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Photo taken on July 9, 2019 shows sunflower fields in Odessa, Ukraine. [Photo/Xinhua]

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and visiting European Council President Charles Michel on Monday discussed steps to solve the issues concerning Ukraine's agricultural exports, the government press service reported.

During the talks in Ukraine's southern port city of Odessa, Shmyhal said that the shipping of goods through the Ukrainian ports via the Black Sea was suspended since February 24 due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Currently, about 70 vessels are blocked in the seaports of Ukraine, including 10 in the port of Odessa, Shmyhal said.

"The vast majority of ships are bulk carriers and mixed cargo vessels. Some 90 million tons of agricultural products that Ukraine planned to supply to countries in Africa, Asia and Europe have been blocked," he said.

Shmyhal warned that a global food crisis may start due to the blockade of Ukraine's ports, and urged Michel to intensify joint efforts to prevent it.

For his part, Michel stressed that Odessa plays a key role in ensuring food security around the world, and that the European Union would do everything possible to solve the problem of a food crisis in the world.

Michel arrived in Odessa earlier in the day.

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