A Western official announced that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had addressed his Russian representative… G20 talks concluded In Bali, he demanded that Moscow allow grain shipments from Ukraine.
After refusing to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in person, Blinken said, “To our Russian colleagues, Ukraine is not your country, its grain is not your grain… Why are you closing the ports? You have to let the grain go out,” according to a Western diplomat who was there.
Blinken also spoke to the Russian delegation about US financial assistance to deal with global food shortages caused by the war in Ukraine, one of the world’s largest grain exporters.
“The source of the problem is Russia and America focusing on solutions,” the Western official said.
Moscow’s military offensive halted exports of Ukraine’s produce, causing price hikes that hit poorer countries in particular.
In return, Moscow says it will allow Ukrainian ships loaded with food to sail if the Ukrainian military clears mines from its ports, which Kyiv refuses to do, fearing for the security of its Black Sea coast.
It is noteworthy that Ukrainian grain exports have decreased since the beginning of the Russian operation, after the closure of Kiev’s ports on the Black Sea, a major shipping route, which led to a rise in global food prices and raised fears of severe shortages in many countries of the world, Africa and the Middle East.