He told reporters in Odessa’s southern port that 17 ships stranded in the five-month Russian blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports were already carrying grain, and another were now being loaded.
He hoped that by the end of this week the first ships would start leaving the port.
Russia and Ukraine are major global wheat suppliers, and the deal they signed in Istanbul last week aims to ease the international food crisis worsened by Russia’s February 24 invasion of its neighbor.
“After the signing of the Grain Initiative in Istanbul, the Ukrainian side has made all necessary preparations for the navigation of the Black Sea … to start exporting our grain products from our ports,” Kubrakov said.
President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said the president had visited the Black Sea port of Kornomorsk on Friday. It also quoted him as saying that Ukraine was ready to start shipping grain, and that Kiev was waiting for a signal from its international partners to start the first shipments.
The agreement aims to allow safe passage for grain shipments in and out of the Odessa, Kornomorsk and Pivdeny ports, which have been blocked by Russia since the start of the invasion. Moscow blames Ukraine for stopping the shipment by mining the port’s waters.
Kubrakov, who signed the deal for Ukraine, said Chornomorsk and Odessa were ready to start shipping grain and he expected the Pivdenyny port to be ready by the end of this week.
“A total of 17 ships were loaded before the war. Today we have started loading another ship in Chornomorsk. In principle, we have solved almost all technical questions,” Kubrakov said.
“We hope that today we will receive confirmation from the United Nations about the proposed corridor in which ships will go through the Black Sea to the Bosphorus, and after that we (will be) ready to start. I hope the first ships Our port will be gone before the end of this week.”
Kubrakov did not say how much grain would be shipped and did not provide any further details of the planned cargo.
He said, “This initiative, if it works as we expect and expect, and if our Turkey and UN partners can ensure its execution, we are convinced that the world’s (cereal) Prices will drop,” he said.
UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said on Thursday that “critical” details for the safe passage of ships were still being worked out, but he hoped the first shipment of grain could be in place by Friday.
US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink told reporters in Odessa that she expected an agreement to be reached later on Friday to open the way for the first shipments.