ANKARA, May 31. /TASS/. Floating naval mines Ukraine has laid in the Black Sea are one of the worst obstacles to shipping grain from Odessa, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the Anadolu news agency on Tuesday.
"Mines laid by Ukraine in the Odessa region are one of the obstacles to the safe transportation of grain. Another reason is the sanctions against Russian ships - their insurance, as well as the impossibility of servicing them in international ports," he said.
Cavusoglu said that there were serious unresolved problems between Moscow and Kiev in this context. "Ukraine does not want Russian ships to enter Odessa, while Russia does not want other ships to use this corridor to deliver weapons to Ukraine. Both sides need confidence and guarantees," Cavusoglu said. He remarked that Ukraine had allegedly vowed it would need "a week or two" to clear the sea of mines to make shipping safe again.
Cavusoglu argues that it is necessary to create a mechanism between Russia and Ukraine to resolve the problem. Ankara suggests creating this mechanism with the participation of the UN. It is also ready to participate in it.
On April 30, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Xinhua news agency in an interview said that Ukrainian mines were drifting in the Black Sea, posing a threat to the shipping and port infrastructure of the Black Sea countries. He said the Ukrainian naval forces had laid mines on the coast, in the waters of ports, and in territorial waters. "These explosive devices are torn off the anchor cables and drift into the open sea, thus posing a serious risk to both fleets and port infrastructure of the Black Sea countries," he said.