Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko – Photo: TASS
Ukraine’s Black Sea ports have been blocked since Russia launched a “special military operation” in late February. More than 20 million tons of grain are trapped in warehouses in the country because of the fighting.
Russia and Ukraine account for almost a third of the global wheat supply. The lack of grain exports from Ukraine’s ports is exacerbating the global food crisis.
Ukraine is also one of the world’s largest exporters of corn (maize) and sunflower oil.
Western powers are discussing the idea of creating a “safe corridor” for grain exports from Ukrainian ports, adding that any such corridor would require the consent of Russia.
Speaking on May 25, Mr. Rudenko said that there should be a comprehensive approach related to the above issue.
“We have repeatedly said on this point that a solution to the food problem requires a comprehensive approach, including the lifting of sanctions already imposed on exports. and Russian financial transactions,” Rudenko said.
At the same time “ask the Ukrainian side to clear mines and mines in all ports where the ship is anchored. And “Russia is ready to provide the necessary humanitarian corridor”.
According to RIA news agency, Rudenko said Russia is in contact with the United Nations to discuss this issue.
To date, both Russia and Ukraine have accused the other of laying mines in the Black Sea area.
According to Interfax, Rudenko said that Western ships escorting Ukrainian grain ships would “exacerbate the situation in the Black Sea”.
In another development on the same day, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that the shallow water port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov was operating normally after Russian forces completed demining there.
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