WASHINGTON, June 17. /TASS/. The United States needs to start cooperating and ‘stop blaming Russia for all the troubles’ if it wants to improve the global food situation, Russia’s US Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said.
"If Washington really wants to improve the situation in the global agricultural market, let us cooperate. Stop blaming Russia for all the troubles. We are ready to work together to improve the situation in all countries of the world," Antonov stated in his article published by The National Interest magazine.
The diplomat stated that "Russia is ready to keep on strictly fulfilling its obligations under international contracts regarding shipments of agricultural products."
"We are aware of the importance of our wheat for the nations of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East," Antonov continued. "In the current agricultural year, our exports will amount to 37 million tons of grain, next year we plan to increase it up to 50 million tons. Russia intends to continue providing humanitarian assistance, including through the UN World Food Program."
"Russia’s goal has always been to stabilize the situation in the world food market and to provide assistance to countries that need high-quality and inexpensive grain," according to the Russian ambassador. "The promotion of the so-called ‘guilt’ of Russia for the deterioration of the situation in global food security has nothing to do with reality."
"Attempts to portray us as an enemy are doomed to create further problems for their initiators," Antonov noted. "We can only hope that the West will nevertheless be able to show the necessary political will and prudence to resolve the crisis it created."
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow guaranteed the unobstructed passage of vessels containing Ukrainian grain if Kiev clears mines from its ports and can guarantee the exports through the ports controlled by Russia, such as Berdyansk and Mariupol.
According to the Russian leader, Ukraine may also export grain by land with Belarus being the most logical route yet in order to do so, Western sanctions imposed on that East European country must be lifted. The Russian president also reiterated that problems on the global food market started as early as February 2020. He dismissed statements that Russia was allegedly blocking grain in Ukrainian ports as mere bluffing.