Russia declared on May 25 its readiness to negotiate a humanitarian corridor in the Black Sea for grain ships blocked in Ukrainian ports.
“More than once we have declared that the solution of the food problem requires a global approach, which has to do with the lifting of sanctions on exports and financial transactions,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Andréi Rudenko, quoted by the Interfax agency.
He added that in addition Ukraine must demine all ports where ships are located.
Russia is ready to take a humanitarian step, which is something it does every day
“Russia is ready to take a humanitarian step, which is something it does every day,” Rudenko said.
At the same time, he warned that the situation in the Black Sea would worsen “considerably” if ships arrived in the region with the purpose of escorting grain ships, a possibility advanced by Western media.
The deputy foreign minister refuted reports in the West that the Russian military is stealing grain from Ukrainian ports they control.
“We totally reject them. We do not steal anything from anyone,” he stressed.
(Read more: The war in Ukraine enters its fourth month with a critical social balance).
The Russian Ministry of Defense announced the opening on May 25 of a humanitarian corridor from the port of Mariupol, on the Sea of Azov, to the Black Sea.
The spokesman for that portfolio, Igor Konashénkov, reported that the port of Mariúpol, controlled by Russian forces, has begun to function normally.
This Thursday, the head of Russia’s National Defense Command Center, Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, accused the West of trying to get grain out of Ukraine as soon as possible “regardless of what will happen in the country once the Ukrainian silos are empty.” .
“All of this is taking place amid the hysteria of the ‘civilized West’ and its bogus accusations that the Russian Federation is artificially creating a food crisis,” he said.
(Keep reading: Offensive in Ukraine: Russia attacks the city of Kharkov with missiles).
According to the Russian military, 70 foreign ships from 16 countries are blocked in six Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.
“The threat of artillery fire and mines created by the kyiv government does not allow ships to go out into the open sea,” Mizintsev added.
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