Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Tuesday that Ukraine is working on a “UN-led naval operation” with the fleets of partner countries to ensure a safe trade route for the export of its agricultural products.
“Ukraine is working on a UN-led international operation with its naval partners to ensure a safe trade route without security risks,” Kuleba Wrote On Twitter, without providing any other details about the process.
In a tweet, the foreign minister blamed Russia for playing “the Hunger Games with the world by blocking Ukrainian food exports with one hand and trying to shift the blame to Ukraine with the other”.
During a phone call on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky that Ankara attaches “particular importance” to efforts to create a safe passage for the export of Ukrainian agricultural products by sea, according to a Turkish reading of the call.
As far as Moscow’s cooperation is concerned, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed earlier on Tuesday that if Ukraine cleared its coastal waters of mines, the Russian Navy would ensure the passage of grain ships into the Mediterranean.
More background: Zelensky said Friday that 22 million tons of grain, which accounts for nearly half of Ukraine’s grain export supply, has been disrupted by the Russian blockade of major export routes through the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
The Kremlin has repeatedly rejected accusations that it blocked grain supplies from Ukraine and accused the West of actions that led to the crisis.
With previous reports from CNN Isil Sariyuce, Anna Chernova and Anastasia Graham-Yooll