‘No grain will go anywhere’ unless Ukraine’s security is ensured, senior official says
Ukraine will only resume grain exports when its own security is assured, National Security and Defense Council Secretary Alexei Danilov said on Tuesday as the Russian military offensive continues in his country.
Speaking on national television, Danilov recalled a statement from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry “who clearly said that the first problem is security, the second problem is security, the third problem is security.”
“If this problem is not solved and the security of our country is not ensured, no grain will go anywhere. Because for us, the issue of safety is the number one priority,” Danilov said, without specifying what exactly he meant by the term “Security.”
At the same time, he asserted that “this problem is under control” and clarified that the Ukrainian authorities remembered their obligations.
“No one wants the world to go hungry” he underlined.
Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of hindering grain exports. kyiv and its Western supporters claim that by blockading Ukrainian Black Sea ports, Russia is worsening the global food crisis. Moscow rejected these claims, saying it was ready to ensure the safe passage of ships carrying grain and that the disruption stemmed from the intensive exploitation of the coastline by the Ukrainian military.
Danilov accused Russia of “create artificially” obstacles to its benefit, transfer of responsibility and “blackmail” Europe.
On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Ukraine and the West were trying to portray a “minor problem” with Ukrainian grain like “universal disaster”. He also claimed that the Ukrainian authorities, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, have shown reluctance to start the process of unblocking the ports. Lavrov stressed that if kyiv is now ready to clear the coastline, Russia would be happy to cooperate and is even ready to provide written guarantees that it “will not use this situation for the benefit of the ongoing special military operation.”
Russia attacked its neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk Donbass. The protocol brokered by Germany and France was designed to give breakaway regions a special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two republics by force.
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