A day after pulling out of a wartime grain deal and renewing global concerns about food security, the Kremlin warned that shipping grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports could be risky in the absence of Russian security guarantees, alleging that Ukraine uses the waters for the military. activities. .
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov issued the warning on Tuesday amid suggestions that Turkey might intervene to protect Ukrainian grain shipments.
Russia and Ukraine signed the UN-brokered Black Sea Grains Agreement with Turkey last July to ensure that Ukrainian ships could transport grain from its Black Sea ports of Yuzhny, Odessa and Chornomorsk toward the Bosphorus, without being attacked.
It came with a separate agreement to facilitate shipments of Russian food and fertilizer, but Moscow has long complained that parts of the deal related to those exports were not being implemented.
As Russia withdrew on Monday, the officials said their repeated demands for increased Russian grain and fertilizer exports through the deal were not being met.
And the Russian Foreign Ministry said, in a statement on Telegram, that Moscow’s termination of the agreement also means “withdrawing guarantees for the safety of navigation, reducing the humanitarian sea corridor, and temporarily restoring order in a dangerous area in the northwest of the Black Sea.”
“Even without the Russian Federation, everything must be done so that we can use this Black Sea corridor,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a statement.
“We are not afraid. We were approached by companies that own ships. They said they are ready, if Ukraine and Turkey are ready to continue, then everyone is ready to continue supplying grain.
The Ukrainian leader is in talks with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to discuss restoring grain supplies via the Black Sea routes.
World leaders condemned Moscow for violating the agreement, saying the move threatened global food security and would lead to higher prices.
“Hundreds of millions face hunger, and consumers face a global cost-of-living crisis,” Antonio Guterres said in a statement.
But Peskov rejected those criticisms and stressed that Moscow would provide grain to poor countries in need.