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Annalena Baerbock (center) with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba (right)

Photo: Kay Nietfeld / dpa

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock traveled to Ukraine to mark the second anniversary of the Russian invasion.

The Green politician arrived on Saturday together with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba for a visit that was initially kept secret for security reasons in the southern port city of Odessa on the Black Sea.

It is their sixth trip to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed security agreements with Canada and Italy.

“Ukraine is definitely stronger today than it was two years ago,” Zelensky wrote on the X platform (formerly Twitter).

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni came to Kiev on Saturday morning to express their solidarity with Ukraine.

Security agreements with ever new partners

Trudeau's office said the agreement provides for around $2.2 billion in Canadian financial and military aid to Ukraine this year.

The G7 states promised Ukraine “long-term security commitments” in July 2023 on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Vilnius.

“We continue to guarantee our support for Ukraine,” emphasized Meloni.

Italy's agreement with Ukraine is based on Ukraine's agreements with Germany and France.

On Friday, Zelenskyj and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen also signed a corresponding agreement.

Exports at pre-war levels

At the beginning of her visit, Baerbock was informed about the current situation together with Kuleba in the port of Odessa.

After a tour of the port through which much of Ukraine's grain is exported, the commander of the Ukrainian Naval Forces briefed Baerbock on the security situation in the Black Sea.

Ukraine is one of the world's most important grain exporters.

From July 2022 to July 2023, the so-called Black Sea Grain Initiative, which was also negotiated with Turkey, enabled the export of almost 33 million tons of grain.

After Russia did not renew the agreement, Ukraine established a military security corridor.

According to the Ukrainian government, Ukraine then exported almost 20 million tons of cargo across the Black Sea in six months, 70 percent of which were agricultural products.

In January, the monthly pre-war level for total export volumes by sea was reached, it was said.

Before Baerbock's visit, two drones landed in Odessa within 24 hours.

Three people died in the flames in a destroyed sewing factory, and then an elderly man died in a small residential building on Saturday night.

His wife was born under the rubble with severe burn injuries, as residents reported to the German Press Agency.

Russia's former president Dmitry Medvedev called for the annexation of Odessa on Thursday and claimed: "This is our Russian city."