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The Ukrainian military have laid mines in ports through which wheat and other grain shipments were supposed to be delivered to other countries.
On Thursday, the Russian ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov rejected the position assumed by the U.S. State Department, which alleged that the worsening of the global food crisis stems from Russia's army interruption of maritime transport in Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.
“The Ukrainian military laid mines in ports through which wheat and other grain shipments were supposed to be delivered to other countries,” Antonov condemned, adding that Kyiv authorities did not agree to open corridors to counteract this situation.
In the Odesa port, for instance, Kyiv soldiers blocked 25 million grain tons that were to be destined for African countries and the Middle East. So far, there is no prospect of when they can be released or whether they can be moved through another port to reach their destiny.
Antonov also warned that the U.S. imposition of sanctions against Moscow, including the freezing of assets of the Russian Central Bank and the closing of airspace to Russian aircraft, has also contributed to the rise in food prices.
A rally in support of the Malian army took place in the country’s capital on Friday.
The demonstrators expressed dissatisfaction with France, especially over the unrecognized mass graves found near a former French army base, & also expressed support for Russia.@RT_com#NoMorepic.twitter.com/gY1xWgQwmc
“Our country exports about 30 percent of world's wheat, 20 percent of the maize, and 75 percent of sunflower oil, all of which help feed over 125 million people,” Antonov pointed out.
Russia is also the world’s second-largest supplier of potassium chloride, a fertilizer that is essential for many countries’ harvests. In 2021, Russian shipments of this product exceeded US$3.3 billion and accounted for 30 percent of global fertilizer exports.
"Washington seeks to distort reality by refusing to take responsibility for the current food crisis. The sanctions, however, will not impede us for honoring our commitments within international export contracts,” Antonov stressed.