Anastasia Gorbacheva19:44, 07/20/234 min.264The head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry admitted that the ships could be attacked by the Russian Federation.
Ukraine is ready to resume grain exports despite the Russian naval blockade of the Black Sea. The statement came amid Russian strikes on Ukrainian ports where grain is shipped.
“We are ready to take any risk. I think our message to the world is simple: we don’t need Russia,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview with TIME.Journalists noted that the Ukrainian diplomat’s statement showed Kyiv’s willingness to expose Moscow’s bluff amid the standoff in the Black Sea, potentially promoting grain exports despite the threat of a Russian attack on civilian cargo ships.
With rising grain prices on world markets, this also raises the stakes for the international community, including Turkey and the UN, which brokered a grain deal in 2022.
At the same time, Kuleba acknowledged the risk that a commercial ship carrying thousands of tons of grain could be “sent to the bottom by a Russian mine or a Russian missile.””Is this the risk that you are ready to take?
This is a question that people here at the UN headquarters and in Ankara should answer. We do not want to put anyone’s life at risk at our discretion. If you ask us, are you ready to check this?
But we must cooperate with others to minimize the risks,” the Foreign Minister said at the Ukrainian mission to the UN.The last time Russia withdrew from the Black Sea grain deal at the end of October 2022, Ukraine also announced that it would continue to supply grain with the support of Turkey and the UN.
A few days later, Russia changed its mind and returned to the agreement, which allowed exports to resume. This time, Kuleba says, such brinkmanship may not change Russia’s position so easily.”It worked once.
Let’s see if it works again. I don’t see it happening,” the diplomat said.
According to him, for Russia, the return to the deal, apparently, is of little benefit.
The disruption of Ukrainian exports will almost certainly cause a further jump in grain prices on the world market.
Prices for wheat, corn and soybeans rose in response to Moscow’s decision not to renew the deal.
Wheat futures rose 3%, raising concerns about food shortages and inflation, especially in parts of Africa and Asia that rely on Ukrainian grain supplies.
World benchmark wheat prices rose as much as 9% on Wednesday.”By terminating the grain deal, they are killing two birds with one stone. Behind all this diplomatic smokescreen, the Russians are just trying to make more money,” Kuleba said.
Russia’s withdrawal from the grain deal – top news
On Monday after pulling out of the grain deal , the Kremlin warned that cargo ships face “certain risks” when leaving Ukrainian ports “in close proximity to the war zone.”
If supplies resume without a formal agreement involving Russia, “then these risks should be taken into account,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that any ships calling at Ukrainian ports would be considered “potential carriers of military cargo” and countries responsible for those shipments would be considered “participating” in the war on Ukraine’s side.
On Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said the latest wave of rocket attacks on two Ukrainian port cities – Odessa and Nikolaev – was a “massive revenge strike” in response to an explosion that damaged a Russian bridge in Crimea.