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EU Council president forced to take shelter on visit to Ukraine

President of the European Council Charles Michel (L) in a bomb shelter during his meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal on May 9, 2022 in Odesa.
President of the European Council Charles Michel (L) in a bomb shelter during his meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal on May 9, 2022 in Odesa. Copyright Dario Pignatelli / AFP / EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESS SERVICE
Copyright Dario Pignatelli / AFP / EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESS SERVICE
By Euronews with AP, AFP
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On a surprise visit to Odesa on Monday European Council President Charles Michel was forced to seek shelter, an EU official said.

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On a surprise visit to Odesa on Monday European Council President Charles Michel was forced to seek shelter, an EU official said.

An air raid had sounded during a meeting between Michel and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal due to missile strikes in the area.

Michel for his part wrote on Twitter that he had come to Odesa to celebrate Europe Day. "You are not alone. The EU is on your side," he said.

According to the European official, Michel also noted during his visit the impact of the war on global supply chains, particularly with regard to grains, of which many tonnes are blocked in the port of Odesa due to the Russian blockade of the Black Sea.

“I saw silos full of grain, wheat and corn ready for export,” Michel tweeted.

“This badly needed food is stranded because of the Russian war and blockade of Black sea ports. Causing dramatic consequences for vulnerable countries. We need a global response.”

Ukraine is a global grain exporter, and UN officials have warned that failure for those products to ship will hurt food security in importing countries, especially poorer ones in Africa and elsewhere.

Michel added that "the Kremlin wants to execute your (Ukraine's) spirit of freedom and democracy, but I am totally convinced they will never succeed."

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