Russia says plan to send ships into Black Sea is aimed at interfering in Ukraine

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Russia says plan to send ships into Black Sea is aimed at interfering in Ukraine

Russian FM Sergey Lavrov says the real purpose of such a mission would be to meddle in the Black Sea region.

Russia s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said that the proposal to put together an international naval coalition to escort ships with Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea is in reality a completely different goal.

The attempts to organize a international coalition for the implementation of these procedures are solely aimed at interfering in the Black Sea region under the auspices of the UN. Lavrov pointed out that this is quite clearly after talks with Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran on Thursday.

The idea of sending the warships of the countries allegedly affected by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine into the Black Sea has been floated by Lithuanian FM Gabrielius Landsbergis during his trip to London in late May. In principle, the British authorities had voiced support for such a mission, according to the media.

The Russian foreign minister assured his audience that there was no problem with exporting grain without putting together any such schemes.

He stated that Moscow guarantees the security of vessels with grain in international waters all the way to the Bosphorus strait, a key access channel controlled by Ankara. Lavrov said that we have an understanding on this issue with Turkey.

Ukraine is a major exporter of grain, but its ships have been unable to put to sea since the launch of the Russian military operation in the country in late February. Kiev and the West blame Moscow for blocking their passage, while Russia insists that logistical problems have been created by naval mines placed by Ukraine itself.

The efforts now being undertaken by both Turkey and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres would have been a success a long time ago if Ukraine and its Western masters had solved the problem of demining ports in the Black Sea, Russia's top diplomat pointed out.

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on Thursday that it would require an international effort to help Ukrainian grain leave the ports. The UK Foreign Secretary, who was speaking after talks with Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, has claimed that a failure to resolve the grain-transport deadlock will cause great famine. Russian President Vladimir Putin is using food security as a weapon of war. He has stopped 20 million tons of grain being exported across the globe, holding the world to ransom, Truss said.

Lavrov had previously blamed the West for exaggerating the issues surrounding Ukrainian grain, pointing out that blocked supplies accounted for less than 1% of the global production of wheat and other cereals. He said a few weeks ago, the current situation with Ukrainian grain has nothing to do with the food crisis.