On a surprise visit to Odessa, a major city in southern Ukraine, European Council President Charles Michel was forced to take shelter due to missile strikes, an EU official said on Monday.

According to this source, during a meeting between Charles Michel and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Chmygal, “the participants had to interrupt the meeting to take shelter because missiles again hit the Odessa region”. Charles Michel for his part wrote on Twitter that he had come to Odessa to celebrate Europe Day. “You are not alone. The EU is on your side,” he said, denouncing “Russian aggression” against Ukraine, launched on February 24.

The danger of a Russian blockade

According to the European official, Charles Michel also noted during this surprise visit “the impact of the Russian war on global supply chains”, particularly with regard to cereals, of which “many tonnes” are “blocked in the port due to the Russian blockade of the Black Sea”.

This blockade “not only harms the Ukrainian economy, but also hinders the world’s access to vital food and jeopardizes global food security”, added this source.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for his part announced on Monday that he had met by videoconference with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and discussed Ukraine’s steps to become a candidate country for membership of the European Union. .

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