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Two Ukrainian ports will deliver grain as Kiev unloads coastal mines

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on June 7 that the ports in Berdyansk and Mariupol had reopened. “Preparations to put the port of Mariupol into operation have been completed. It is operating normally and has received the first cargo ships.”

Follow Reuters, the Sea of ​​Azov is shallower than the Black Sea, and its ports can only handle smaller ships. Ukraine’s main port of Odessa remains blocked.

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Russia says two Ukrainian ports are ready to deliver grain. (Illustration)

More than 20 million tons of grain are trapped in Ukraine awaiting shipment, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently said that number could rise to 75 million by autumn.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Ukraine needs to clear mines along the coast for grain exports to take place. “This will allow ships, after being checked by our military to make sure they are not carrying any weapons, to enter port, pick up cargo and, with our help, proceed to international waters.” .

Russia controlled much of Ukraine’s coast during nearly 15 weeks of hostilities. Moscow’s warships, which control the Black and Azov seas, are said to have stalled Ukraine’s agricultural exports.

Ukraine and the West accuse Moscow of weaponizing the food supply. And Russia says Kiev’s laying of mines in coastal areas, plus international sanctions imposed on Moscow, are the reasons for the current situation.

The United Nations is planning with Kiev and Moscow to restart grain exports in Ukrainian ports. Turkey is likely to provide naval corvettes to ensure the safe passage of goods out of the Black Sea.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Turkey to discuss the proposals.

Shoigu also said that Russian forces had restored the rail transport system through southern and eastern Ukraine, and began transporting goods to Mariupol, Berdyansk and Kherson on 1,200 km of tracks.

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(Illustration)

Creating a so-called “land corridor” between Russia and the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014, has been said to be an important part of Russia’s strategy since the start of the military campaign. According to Russian Defense Minister Shoigu, the country’s armed forces control 97% of the Lugansk region and a significant part of Donetsk.

According to the assessment of the British Ministry of Defense, Russia can completely control Lugansk in the next two weeks.

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