January 28, 2023

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The ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk are ready to export grain

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On Tuesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said he was ready to clear landmines in the Ukrainian ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol, which had been seized by Russian forces, and to resume grain exports.

“The demining work from Mariupol port has been completed. It is operating normally and has received its first cargo ships.”

Agricultural exports from southern Ukraine have been hampered since the start of Russian military action in late February, raising grain prices.

Ukraine accuses Russia of stealing key grain, US Secretary of State Anthony Blingen has said it is “credible”.
However, Moscow says Western sanctions have led to the situation, which threatens to create a global food crisis.

The United Nations is working with Kiev and Moscow on how to resume grain exports from Ukrainian ports, with the possibility that Turkey may be ready to provide naval forces to ensure a safe passage from the Black Sea.

Shoiku said on Tuesday that the Russian armed forces had “created the conditions necessary for the full resumption of rail traffic between Russia, Donbass, Ukraine and Crimea” and had begun delivering supplies to the Ukrainian cities of Mariupol, Berdyansk and Kerson. 1,200 km, the railway line was reopened.

The creation of the so-called “land corridor” between Russia and Crimea, which annexed Moscow in 2014, has been an important part of Russia’s strategy since the beginning of its offensive.

On the other hand, Shoiku said about 6,489 Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered to Russian forces since the beginning of what Russia calls its “special military operation,” including 126 in the past five days.

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