Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied allegations that Moscow has prevented Ukrainian ports from exporting grain.
In an interview with national television, Putin labeled these reports as a “bluff” and accused Western nations of attempting to cover up their policy mistakes by blaming Russia for issues in the global food market.
According to Putin, the best solution for exporting Ukrainian grain would be to ship it through Belarus, provided that sanctions are lifted.
This comes after Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko stated that Minsk is willing to transit Ukraine’s grain to various European ports, including those in Germany, Poland, and the Baltic states, as long as Belarusian goods are allowed to be shipped from these ports in return.
Russia’s military has seized control of much of Ukraine’s southern coastline, and its warships now control access to Black Sea ports.
As a result, Moscow has placed the blame for disruptions in Ukrainian grain exports on Ukraine and the West.
In addition, Putin noted that problems in global food markets are set to worsen due to British and U.S. sanctions on Russian fertilizers.