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Turkey Urges Ukraine To Begin Export Of Grain


Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar today held calls with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov. According to Reuters, Akar told Kubrakov that the first shipment of grain should take place as soon as possible to prevent the UN-brokered deal collapsing.

  • The call come as fears grow that Russia may take advantage of the deal to export grain from occupied Ukrainian ports.
  • United States House Rep Austin Scott (R-GA) who sits on the House Armed Services and Agriculture committees has warned that Russia may continue to weaponise grain and fertilliser: "Putin's recent strike on ports in Odesa proves that Russia has no intention of allowing the safe export of grain from Ukraine. Food has always been a weapon of war to Putin, and he could care less if his actions are causing mass starvation."
  • Seth Frantzman at the Jerusalem Post has suggested that the Russian attack on the Ukrainian port of Odesa may be part of a broader strategy to control the flow of grain: "The question is why Moscow felt impunity to carry out the strikes, it claimed "precision" strikes on "military" target, so the goal of Moscow to is to use this deal to weaken Ukraine and control the food flow."
  • Frantzman suggests that the timing of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's trip to Africa indicates that Russian plans to use the grain export breakthrough as a means to court favour on the continent.
  • Yesterday, Lavrov met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri and blamed Ukraine for stalled grain supply to Egypt, the world largest importer of grain.
  • Lavrov: "It will be guaranteed that the Ukrainians will clear their territorial waters and allow ships to leave from there, and during their passage on the high seas, Russia and Turkey will ensure their safety with their military naval forces."

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