Lavrov: Moscow Not Asking to Lift Sanctions, But West Must Resolve Self-Created Food Supply Issues
12:01 GMT 24.07.2022 (Updated: 13:25 GMT 24.07.2022)
© SputnikRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Kremlin repeatedly denied West's claims that Moscow was somehow limiting grain exports from Ukraine or Russia itself. Russia stressed that Kiev's mining of own waters and western anti-Russia sanctions are the main culprits behind the risk of famine in the world.
Moscow is not asking for the lifting of sanctions, but, in order to resolve the existing issues with global food supplies, the West must take steps to eliminate obstacles that it had created itself, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has stated following a meeting with his counterpart from Egypt.
"We will simply be developing our own economy now, relying on reliable partners, and not on those who once again have proven their complete inability to negotiate," Lavrov commented on Moscow's unwillingness to fight for western sanctions' relief.
At the same time, the minister expressed hope that the UN will succeed in lifting sanctions against Russia, which are hindering the export of Russian grain.
"The UN Secretary General volunteered to seek the removal of those illegitimate sanctions that were introduced and which prevented shipment operations involving Russian grain, including insurance, foreign port access for our ships and the access of foreign ships to Russian ports, after the signing of the agreements in Istanbul," Lavrov said.
Lavrov recalled that the UN secretary general stood by the idea of eliminating obstacles to Ukrainian and Russian grain exports by means of one package deal – something that Russia itself insisted on. The minister noted, however, that the Western countries had tried to delay the resolution of the Russian grain exports issue for an indefinite period of time even though Russia's grain stock is far greater than that of Ukraine.
Russia and Ukraine signed a deal with mediation from the UN and Turkey, which established a framework for the two states resuming grain exports amid Russia's special military operation. The document suggests that a safe corridor will be established to export grain via the Ukrainian port of Odessa. Exports will be coordinated through a dedicated center in Istanbul, and Ukrainian vessels will be checked by Turkey for any signs of smuggled weapons.
The deal, which was signed on July 22, also included provisions to ensure the flow of grain and fertilizer exports from Russia, which have been hindered by Western sanctions.