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Moscow expects Kiev to guarantee ships’ safety in Black Sea ports — MFA

As Maria Zakharova said, to solve the food problem it was important for the Western countries to provide conditions for the Russian foodstuffs' access to world markets

MOSCOW, August 2. /TASS/. Russia expects that Ukraine will comply with its obligations to ensure the safety of ships in the Black Sea ports, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Tuesday.

"We expect Kiev to fulfill its obligations to ensure the safety of ships in the Black Sea ports and in the territorial waters of Ukraine," Zakharova said.

She recalled that in order to "completely solve the food problem" it was essential for the Western countries to provide conditions for the Russian fertilizers’ and foodstuffs’ access to world markets.

"The point at issue is the removal of financial and logistical obstacles in accordance with the bilateral memorandum of understanding between Russia and the UN Secretariat on promoting Russian foods and fertilizers to world markets," she stressed. "The agreements reached in Istanbul are an integral package. We warn against attempts to brush under the carpet or default on the second part of the package deal [regarding Russian grain] or do everything to prevent it from being implemented. Otherwise, due to the West’s irresponsible policies the world may be undersupplied tens of millions of tonnes of Russian grain," Zakharova said.

On July 22, a package of documents was signed in Istanbul to solve the problem of food and fertilizer supplies to world markets. The memorandum between Russia and the UN stipulates that the latter shall join the work for the lifting of anti-Russian restrictions that impede the export of agricultural products and fertilizers. Another document establishes a mechanism for the export of grain from Ukraine-controlled Black Sea ports. Agreements among Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN imply creation of a quadripartite coordination center. Its representatives will be inspecting grain ships in order to prevent arms smuggling and rule out provocations. The Joint Coordinating Center for the safe transportation of grain officially began its activities in Istanbul on July 27.