Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, whose forces have put a chokehold on Ukrainian grain exports to the world, has mocking suggested Kyiv hold talks with Belarus on opening an export route through its territory.
Russia used Belarus as a launch point for its failed attempt to capture the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Belarus has also allowed the Russian military to attack Ukraine from its territory with missiles
Speaking to Russian media, Putin said that there is no problem with the export of grain from Ukraine: it can be exported in five different ways, reports Kommerstant on June 3.
Grain can be exported through Poland, through Romania along the Danube river, through Russian-controlled ports in the Azov and Black Seas, or through Ukrainian ports, but they need to be cleared of mines first. But the easiest and cheapest way would be to export it through Belarus,” Putin said.
“From Belarus it can go directly into the ports of the Baltic States, to the Baltic Sea, and anywhere else in the world,” the Russian dictator said.
“But in order for this to happen, the sanctions against Belarus must be lifted. It’s not our call, but that’s how President Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko would put it.”
Putin also said that Russia was ready to ensure the safe export of grain through the Russian-controlled Ukrainian ports.
“We can guarantee a safe and secure passage to these ports,” Putin said. “We will ensure there is a safe way for foreign ships to enter and move along the Azov and Black Seas in any direction.”
When Western countries said that Russia was preventing the export of grain from Ukraine, Putin called it a "bluff.” He also said that the ports in Ukraine had been mined by the Ukrainian military – a claim Ukraine disputes.
As reported earlier, the Russian Federation is occupying or blocking all Ukrainian seaports, through which grain was exported to Tunisia, Egypt, and other countries.
The United States and its European allies are developing routes for the export of Ukrainian wheat and corn. Meanwhile, China and Turkey are calling for the creation of a "green corridor" for the export of Ukrainian grain.