He also demanded “kyiv clearing” of Black Sea ports so ships could export grain. To this end, the diplomat affirmed that Russia was “ready to ensure a humanitarian corridor” for the boats. Renowned for its very fertile black soils, Ukraine was before the offensive the world's fourth largest exporter of corn and on the way to becoming the third exporter of wheat. But the conflict has disrupted Ukrainian agricultural production and Russia is accused by kyiv and the West of preventing grain exports via the Black Sea, raising the risk of a serious global food crisis. On Tuesday evening, the Russian army accused the West of seeking "to get cereals out of Ukraine as quickly as possible (...) without fearing what will happen in the country once the grain reserves are exhausted ".
Russia calls for sanctions to be lifted to avert global food crisis, diplomat says
A senior Russian diplomat on Wednesday demanded the lifting of sanctions against Moscow as a condition to avert a global food crisis due to the blocking of Ukrainian grain exports since the start of the Kremlin offensive.