Ukrainian Head of State Volodymyr Zelenskyy has invited President William Ruto to visit Kyiv, as the European country moves to consolidate diplomatic support amid its protracted war with Russia.
Zelenskyy extended his invitation during a meeting in New York where the two sealed a grain importation deal that will help Kenya achieve its goal to achieve food security.
"I want to invite you (Ruto) with your team to come at any available time to Kyiv. I think we have topics to discuss about," Zelenskyy said in a statement.
The two leaders on Tuesday, September 19, discussed and agreed on developing grain depot capacity that will supply cereals to the entire East Africa region.
Ruto stated that Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat, and Kenya is one of the largest importers of grain from the European nation, despite the ongoing war that has disrupted exports.
"In New York, United States, held talks with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who committed to establishing a grain hub in the Port of Mombasa to address food shortage in East Africa," Ruto stated.
The Head of State also thanked the Ukrainian President for his country's response to the needs of Kenyans through a humanitarian programme known as Grain from Ukraine.
Grain from Ukraine Programme provides cereal to countries affected by the war. In March 2023, the first ship carrying Ukrainian grain arrived in Kenya under this programme.
The ship was carrying 30,000 tons of wheat, which is enough to feed 2 million people for 1.5 months.
According to Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Alfred Mutua who attended the meeting in New York, the Port of Mombasa grain supply depot will will also lead to socio-economic stability of the East African region which had long been plagued by droughts.
"I Joined President William Ruto as he held talks with Ukraine President Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the sidelines of the United States General Assembly in New York.
"The two Leaders stressed the importance of Ukraine establishing a grain hub at the port of Mombasa aimed at addressing food shortage in the East African region among other issues of mutual importance," Mutua stated.
The Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs noted that the hub will help to ensure a more stable and reliable supply of Ukrainian grain to Kenya and other African countries.
Mutua stated that Ukraine's move to supply grain to Kenya is important for several reasons. He noted that the capacity will help to ensure that Kenyans have access to affordable food.
The capacity will also support the Kenyan economy since the wheat milling industry is one of the largest employers in Kenya, and it relies on imported wheat.
The Port of Mombasa Grain Supply Depot will also reduce Kenya's dependence on other countries for food.
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