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Moscow says it is up to Ukrainians and Westerners to act

Moscow says it is up to Ukrainians and Westerners to act

Russian diplomacy estimated on Tuesday that only Kyiv and the West could act to allow the export of Ukrainian and Russian grain that had been banned since Russia’s attack on Ukraine, raising the risk of a global food crisis.

“Western countries, which have created a lot of man-made problems by closing their ports to Russian ships, cutting logistical and financial chains, need to think carefully about the most important matters,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei. Sanctions against Moscow.

“Either you spread the issue of food security, or you solve this problem with concrete measures: the ball is in their court,” he said during a visit to Bahrain.

He also again called on Ukraine, which has been fighting a Russian offensive for three months, to clear its territorial waters around its ports to allow ships laden with grain to pass through the Black Sea.

“If the problem of demining is resolved (…), the Russian Navy will ensure the unhindered passage of these ships to the Mediterranean and then to their destinations,” said Mr. Lavrov.

The conflict in Ukraine has undermined the global food balance, raising fears of a crisis that will particularly affect the poorest countries.

Ukraine, a major exporter of cereals, especially corn and wheat, is seeing production halted due to the fighting.

For its part, Russia, another power in the field of grain, cannot sell its production and fertilizers due to Western sanctions affecting the financial and logistical sectors. Countries produce a third of the world’s wheat.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that he is ready to work with Turkey to ensure the movement of goods in the Black Sea, including grain from Ukraine.

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Her spokeswoman said: After Bahrain, Sergey Lavrov flew to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday, where he met his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation based in the kingdom. Maria Zakharova.

Lavrov is expected to meet the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council states on Wednesday.

The organization, headquartered in Riyadh, includes key members of the OPEC + oil alliance, led by the world’s two largest exporters, Arabia and Russia.

Despite pressure from Washington, which wants to increase oil production to cool high energy prices, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have demonstrated their commitment to OPEC+, moving away from their traditional partner, the United States.