NEWYORK – Kenya’s President William on Tuesday held talks with his Ukraine counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the sidelines of 78th UNGA 2023 in New York, United States.
Through a statement by the Office of the President on social media, President Ruto said Zelenskyy committed to establishing a grain hub in the Port of Mombasa to address food shortage in East Africa.
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war was also discussed, where the Kenyan President reiterated that Nairobi advocates a peaceful resolution of the conflict to restore stability, alleviate the suffering of the people and stop destruction of property.
“We believe the resolution of the conflict is a priority for the world and essential to advancing the shared prosperity of all humanity,” the statement said.
According to Zelenskyy’s press service, the Ukrainian leader thanked Kenya for supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
“Thank you for supporting our people and our country. I would like to invite you and your team to visit Ukraine at your convenience. We have many topics to discuss. Support in such a difficult time of war is important to us. We need to be strong and hear your voices of support,” the President said.
The leaders discussed preparations for the next meeting on the implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula at the level of advisers.
The parties also discussed preparations for the Global Peace Summit at the level of state leaders.
The presidents emphasized the importance of stable supply of Ukrainian agricultural products to the region.
Zelenskyy also informed President Ruto about the functioning of an alternative route for the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea, as well as the work on creating other export routes.
A deal allowing the safe Black Sea export of Ukraine’s grain for the past year expired in July after Russia quit and warned it could not guarantee the safety of ships in a move the United Nations said would “strike a blow to people in need everywhere.”
Additionally, the Heads of State discussed security cooperation between Ukraine and Kenya.
Kyiv first announced its its intention to establish grain hubs in Nigeria and other African countries in January 2023, when Ukrainian Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Mykola Solskyi led a delegation to a meeting with then Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Mohammad Abubakar in Abuja.
In March 2023, Ukraine sent 30,000 tonnes of grain to Kenya as part of ‘Grain from Ukraine’ humanitarian programme, amidst the worst drought in the Horn of Africa in 40 years.
The fifth maize shipment from Ukraine was received in Mombasa by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Dr Christopher Fomunyoh, member of the International Coordination Group for the Prevention of Hunger, and Ambassadors from the donor countries to the programme.
The shipment was supported by the UN World Food Programme, with financial assistance from the governments of the UK, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.
“This shipment to Kenya cements our ongoing commitment to tackling forced famine across Africa’s most vulnerable nations. While we continue to defend our nation against external aggression, we have not forgotten our humanitarian obligation towards our allies in time of need,” Andriy Yermak, Head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office and Chairman of the International Coordination Group for the Prevention of Hunger, said