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Ukraine's 'grain corridor' hinges on F-16 jets, says Ukrainian Foreign Minister

Ukraine's 'grain corridor' hinges on F-16 jets, says Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (Photo: Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Daria Shekina

Ukraine can use modern F-16 fighters to ensure a new corridor for exporting its food products, according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, in an interview on France 24 television channel.

"If we have F-16s we will not depend on Russian blackmail in exporting Ukrainian grain to the global market. So the sooner we receive them the sooner we will be able to launch a new corridor protected efficiently," said the minister.

Kuleba stated that the issue of aircraft deliveries has already been resolved. However, he mentioned that some time is needed for the implementation of these plans.

Russia's exit from the "grain deal"

Last week, Russia announced its withdrawal from the "grain deal," which was in effect for a year and allowed the safe export of Ukrainian food products from the Black Sea ports.

Following this, Russian forces have been launching nightly attacks on the south of Ukraine, including missile strikes on Odesa and the surrounding region.

On the night of July 24, the Russians attacked the river port of Reni on the Danube, which is located near the border with Romania.

Meanwhile, agriculture ministers of the European Union countries are set to discuss today how to support the export of Ukrainian grain amid Russia's strikes on port infrastructure.

F-16s for Ukraine

Ukraine has been engaged in intense negotiations for several months to obtain modern F-16 fighters. During the NATO summit in Vilnius, allies officially announced the creation of an aviation coalition. Additionally, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Romania confirmed that they would train Ukrainian pilots.

Ukrainian pilots are scheduled to begin training on F-16s in August. Previously, the White House had stated that Ukraine could receive the aircraft this year.