2022 June 22 13:30
The Russian side has never prevented and does not prevent the export of grain from the Black Sea ports of Ukraine
The Russian side has never prevented and does not prevent grain exports from the Black Sea ports of Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. In reality, safe navigation in Ukrainian territorial waters and the use of ports is currently impossible due to the high mine danger and threats of shelling created by Kyiv, the ministry statement said.
According to available information, the Ukrainian military have planted about 420 anchor mines in the Black and Azov Seas, some of which are drifting in the sea, in the Bosporus and Dardanelles, within the coastal waters of the Black Sea states, including Turkey and Romania. In addition, Kyiv has blocked and is holding 70 foreign ships from 16 countries in six ports: Kherson, Nikolaev, Chernomorsk, Ochakov, Odessa and Yuzhny. At the same time, there are at least several more ways to export grain from Ukraine, including rail and river transport, as well as ways to import Western weapons into the country.
“For their part, the Russian military has created the necessary conditions for the safe operation of two maritime humanitarian corridors: in the Black Sea for exit from the six specified Ukrainian ports in a south-western direction from the territorial waters and in the Sea of Azov for exit towards the Black Sea. Today it is possible to use the ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk for the export of agriproducts. In addition, Russia’s readiness to assist in ensuring the unhindered export of Ukrainian grain by foreign ships is confirmed, subject to their control for arms smuggling and Kyiv’s refusal to provoke, create mine threats and tension in the Black Sea,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.