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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Putin allows Ukrainian grain export through Belarus

World faces severe grain crisis due to the Ukraine War as the West & Moscow blame each other for the problem.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday denied Moscow was preventing Ukrainian ports from exporting grain and said the best solution would be to ship it through Belarus, as long as sanctions on that country were lifted.

President Vladimir Putin, saying reports of a Russian export ban were “a bluff”, told national television that Western nations were trying to cover up their own policy mistakes by blaming Russia for problems on the global food market.

Russia’s army has seized much of Ukraine’s southern coastline and its warships control access to the country’s Black Sea ports. Moscow has blamed Ukraine and the West for the resulting disruption of Ukrainian grain exports.

Read more: Timeline of Ukraine War

“If someone wants to solve the problem of exporting Ukrainian grain – please, the easiest way is through Belarus. No one is stopping it,” Putin said. “But for this you have to lift sanctions from Belarus.”

Earlier on Friday, Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko said Minsk was ready to allow the transit of Ukraine’s grain to German, Polish, Baltic or Russian ports via its territory if in return it was allowed to ship Belarusian goods from those ports.

Ukraine, a major global grain exporter, is unable to use its Black Sea ports for supplies since Russia sent thousands of troops to the country on Feb. 24.

Exports from Ukraine via Belarus have been one of the options in discussions led by the United Nations which aim to boost global grain supply as a major food crisis looms. The unblocking of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports is another option.

Read more: Pakistan sends second humanitarian aid to Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin said problems on global food markets were set to worsen because of British and U.S. sanctions on Russian fertilisers.

Reuters with additional input by GVS News Desk