Russia has again called on the West to lift sanctions in view of the blocked grain exports in Ukraine. Then exports from Ukraine could start again, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in Moscow on Thursday, according to the Interfax agency.
“They should repeal those illegal decisions that impede the cargo ships, the export of grain and so on and so forth,” Peskov said. He didn’t give any details of what he meant exactly. However, the West has imposed a variety of trade sanctions on Russia that are hurting the economy.
Ukraine had previously accused Russia of blackmail and urged the West not to lift sanctions imposed over Moscow’s war of aggression under any circumstances. Kyiv accuses Russia of blockading the Black Sea ports with warships and thus preventing wheat exports, which are important for world nutrition.
Russia, in turn, had asked Ukraine to clear mines along its coastline so that a corridor for grain exports could be set up. But that would also be a possible gateway for the Russian armed forces.
After more than three weeks of aggressive war against Ukraine, Peskov accused the government in Kyiv of a lack of realism in assessing the situation in their country. “Moscow expects Kyiv to accept Moscow’s demands and to see the situation as it is, the real situation as it exists,” Peskov said. Russia had asked Ukraine to give up areas in the east of the country and also to recognize the annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.
Turkey says it is discussing a possible corridor for exporting Ukrainian grain through its own territory. “Turkey is negotiating with both Russia and Ukraine to export grain from Ukraine,” says a senior Turkish official.