Ukraine and its Western supporters are trying to portray a “minor issue” with Ukrainian grain as a “universal catastrophe,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.
Speaking after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara, Lavrov said he and Mevlut Cavusoglu paid “much attention” to the problem of Ukrainian grain stuck in Black Sea ports. However, the diplomat noted that “the share of this Ukrainian grain in question is less than 1% of the global production of wheat and other cereals.”
“Therefore, the current situation with Ukrainian grain has nothing to do with the food crisis,” Lavrov concluded.
He thanked Ankara for its willingness to help ensure that “several dozen” foreign ships carrying grain can leave Black Sea ports, where they are now “being used as hostages” by the Ukrainian side.
Ukraine and Western states have repeatedly accused Moscow of impeding grain exports by blocking Ukraine’s Black Sea ports and thus stoking a global food crisis. Russia has rejected such claims, saying it is ready to ensure safe passage for grain-carrying vessels. Moscow insists the disruption stems from Kiev’s own actions and extensive mining of the shoreline by the Ukrainian military.