Russia is attacking the neighboring country and blocking Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which are being mined by Ukraine. Ships with shipments of grain cannot put out to sea. The Russian foreign minister blames Kyiv.
In the dispute over the blockade of Ukrainian grain in Black Sea ports, Russia has denied any responsibility. During a visit to Turkey on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blamed Ukraine itself for this.
Ukraine has so far refused to mine its ports or otherwise allow cargo ships to pass through, Lavrov said after a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara. The meeting did not bring any concrete results, such as the establishment of a security corridor.
“We are ready to ensure the safety of ships leaving Ukrainian ports,” Lavrov said. Referring to Ukraine, he added: “If now – as our Turkish friends tell us – it is ready either to clear mines or to ensure passage through minefields, then we hope that this problem will be solved.” Cavusoglu said Turkey supports a UN plan that involves all three countries. However, Kyiv and Moscow still have to agree to this.
In fact, the Russian Navy has been blockading the Ukrainian Black Sea ports for more than three months since the war of aggression against the neighboring country began. Kyiv does not trust Moscow’s promises of safe passage. Lavrov downplayed global concerns about hunger crises. The problem with the export of Ukrainian grain is classified by the West as a “universal catastrophe”, although the Ukrainian share in the world production of wheat and other grains is less than one percent.
Lavrov later added: «There have never been any obstacles from our side to solving this problem – it’s really a small problem, it’s small. Should the Kiev authorities mature, we will be only too happy to cooperate.”