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Borrell: Russia blocking 50 ships with Ukrainian grain in Black Sea

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 18, 2023 12:02 AM 2 min read
The European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, speaks upon his arrival at the 'Wake Up, Spain!' forum on March 30, 2023, in Madrid, Spain. (Jesus Hellin/Europa Press via Getty Images)
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Russia has "once again" blocked 50 ships carrying "urgently needed" Ukrainian grain in the Black Sea, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on April 17.

He added that the bloc would "continue facilitating exports through the EU Solidarity Lanes" on Ukraine-EU land borders, which "have brought 25 billion tons of grain to the world."

After starting its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia blocked Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea, hindering Ukraine from exporting its grain and forcing Kyiv to start exporting overland through neighboring countries.

Earlier the same day, Ukraine's Infrastructure Ministry reported that Russia had blocked inspections of ships transporting Ukrainian grain in Turkey's waters for the second time, endangering the functioning of the "grain deal."

The UN and Turkey-brokered deal, first signed in July 2022, has been paramount in stopping global food prices from soaring.

On March 18, Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov announced the extension of the grain deal, allowing Ukraine to export millions of tons of agricultural products through the Black Sea for 120 more days.

The news came after Russian officials repeatedly threatened to back out of the deal, saying they would renew the deal only if certain conditions were met and that they were "ready" to extend it for only 60 days.

Agriculture Minister: Russia’s grain corridor sabotage could lead to higher food prices
Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Russia’s blockage of Ukrainian seaports triggered a global food crisis. The global food crisis was partially resolved in July when an UN-backed grain deal was reached, forcing Russia to unblock three ports in Odesa Oblast for…
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