Kuleba and Podolyak respond to Russia's ‘blackmail’ proposal for corridor for grain exports

25 May, 07:25 PM
Due to the aggression of the Russian Federation, the export of goods from Ukraine, in particular agricultural products, has halted (Photo:REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo)

Due to the aggression of the Russian Federation, the export of goods from Ukraine, in particular agricultural products, has halted (Photo:REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo)

Responding to a Kremlin proposal to end its blockade of Ukraine’s ports in exchange for the lifting of Western sanctions, top Ukrainian officials have said the world should not submit to “Russian blackmail.”

Russia's war against Ukraine - the main events of May 25

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba and the Adviser to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak were responding to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko’s claim that Moscow was ready to make a corridor for the export of Ukrainian grain and other food in exchange for lifting sanctions.

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In addition, Russian official added that Ukraine would be obliged to demine all of its ports on its own.

In response, Kuleba urged the West not to succumb to Russian blackmail.

“Russia is now blackmailing the world by demanding the lifting of sanctions in exchange for them unblocking Ukraine's food exports,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter. “Any foreign politician or official who may think of accepting this game should first visit the graves of killed Ukrainian children and talk to their parents.”

Podolyak also reacted to Rudenko's words.

“For three months, the Kremlin has been saying that sanctions are a great happiness and a gift to the economy,” Podolyak said.

“And now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation demands the lifting of sanctions for unblocking Ukrainian ports. If sanctions make you stronger, why lift them? Everything is going according to plan, Mr. Rudenko, isn't it?”

Ukrainian seaports in the Black and Azov Seas are blocked by the Russian Federation. Due to this, the export of goods from Ukraine, in particular agricultural products, has halted.

Shortages of Ukrainian grain on the world market caused by the blockade of seaports by Russia could panic the food markets, with global food prices rising by 20-30%, economists have said.

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