Conflicts & War

Russia lifted blockade on Ukrainian ports, says Lavrov

Cairo, Jul 24 (EFE).- Moscow has unblocked Black Sea ports as per the agreement reached between Russia and Ukraine to alleviate global food shortages, Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sunday.

“There was an initiative of the UN Secretary-General that we supported and the blockade imposed on Ukrainian ports has effectively been lifted,” Lavrov said.

For Ukrainian grain to access the global market, Kyiv has to de-mine the ports, the Russian top diplomat said at a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry during his visit to Cairo.

“The Ukrainian side must remove the mines that it has placed in ports and beaches. There are several ships detained in these ports due to the danger of these mines,” he said.

Lavrov did not mention Saturday’s attack on the Odesa port, one of three navigation streams included in the UN-backed Istanbul agreement signed on Friday.

However, he blamed the West for the global food crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, one of the main wheat producers in the world.

“Sanctions against some export companies and banks, as well as sanctions on the movement of Russian ships in ports, have led to the food crisis,” he added.

Russia’s naval blockade of Ukraine has blocked grain exports from the Black Sea, while Western sanctions on Russia have triggered the price of Russian fertilizers and energy. EFE


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