MOSCOW, June 6. /TASS/. Moscow and Ankara are jointly interested in the solution of evolving issues regarding the global food security, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.
"… our presidents [Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey] clearly voice their approaches, express mutual respect to their stances and, instead of turning some of their disagreements on this issue to the object of discord, there are trying to take into account all concerns, Moscow-Ankara, Ankara-Moscow," Lavrov told a news conference.
"On the whole, this issue prevailed in a recent telephone conversation regarding problems, which were shaped up by the West over the last two years in the sphere of the food security and, which certainly, escalated as a result of thoughtless sanctions, which the West promptly imposed and then started thinking over on how these sanctions would impact the food deliveries to various regions of the world," the Russian minister said.
"Yes, jointly with Turkey we have interest in the solution of these problems," Lavrov stated adding that Russian President Putin recently laid out a set of options to unblock ways for food deliveries.
"In his most recent interview, the president said in detail how to unclog food deliveries from the Black Sea ports, which had been lodged with mines by Ukraine, as well as from the ports of the Sea of Azov, which are already controlled by the Russian Federation and had been cleared of mines, and provide safe naval routes via the Kerch Strait to the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits," Russia’s top diplomat stated.
Lavrov also said that experts from Russia were already on their way to Turkey today to discuss the problems of food supplies.
"Today, our specialists already leave for Turkey and my delegation heads there tomorrow," he continued.
"I hope that we will be able, if not to solve this issue - this still is up to our leaders - but to work out in detail all options that the President [Vladimir Putin] voiced earlier and which depend solely on those, who should work with Ukraine, who should oblige Ukraine to ensure the demining of their own [sea] ports, and those who are obliged to remove any possible obstacle to the delivery, insurance, maintenance of vessels that are bound to deliver grain and other food products to the ports of Europe, and from there on to the ports of developing countries," the minister said.
Global food supplies
The situation in Ukraine and the barrage of sanctions that the United States and the European Union imposed on Russia have disrupted grain supplies, raising the risk of a food crisis in a number of countries. Wheat and corn prices have soared since the beginning of the year.
A UN Security Council meeting on May 21 revealed that global wheat stocks would last for only ten weeks. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier that the global food crisis, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and miscalculations by Western countries, had erupted long before the launch of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.
According to Russia’s chief diplomat, that current situation exacerbated the problem and Western sanctions became one of the main reasons for the food supply disruptions.