Kavo Perdika, a cargo vessel carrying Ukrainian grain, sails on Bosphorus to Marmara sea, in Istanbul, on Nov 2, 2022. (OZAN KOSE / AFP)
KIEV/MOSCOW – An international meeting on food security under the "Grain from Ukraine" program was held in Kiev on Saturday, the presidential press service reported.
"Under the 'Grain from Ukraine' program, by the end of next spring, we plan to send at least 60 vessels from our ports — at least 10 per month — to countries at risk of famine and drought," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his opening speech at the meeting, noting the program is aimed at saving at least 5 million people from hunger.
The program, a separate one from the UN-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative, was announced by Zelensky during his virtual speech at the Group of 20 Summit earlier this month.
Zelensky also discussed his country's urgent defense needs with visiting British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly
ALSO READ: Weapons industry booms as Russia-Ukraine conflict continues
Zelensky also discussed his country's urgent defense needs with visiting British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly, the presidential press service reported Friday.
The Ukrainian president expressed appreciation to the British government for its support, as it has provided 2.3 billion pounds (about $2.78 billion) in defense aid this year, and he also urged Britain to provide assistance for the reconstruction of energy infrastructure that was damaged in Russia's attacks.
Also on Friday, Zelensky said in a video message that the blackouts continue in most regions of Ukraine, including the capital Kiev, adding that there were still over 6 million people across the country suffering power outage.
"The biggest problems are in the capital, as well as in the regions of Kiev, Odesa, Lviv, Vinnytsia and Dnipropetrovsk," Zelensky said.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press fired a national security reporter this week over an "egregious" error in a story about a deadly missile strike in Poland earlier this month.
READ MORE: Türkiye seeks peace talks between Ukraine, Russia
James LaPorta was dismissed "after being deemed primarily responsible for a Nov 15 news bulletin that erroneously said Russian missiles had carried out the strike" that killed two people in Poland.
The bulletin was later retracted, and in a correction published online, the AP wrote that subsequent reporting showed the missiles were "most likely fired by Ukraine" for defense purpose.
On Saturday, nine Russian servicemen, who were in mortal danger, were returned from the territory controlled by Kiev after negotiations, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Russian military transport aircraft will deliver the released soldiers to Moscow for treatment and rehabilitation, the statement said.