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Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Says Russia Will Not Escort Ships Under Grain Deal

Sputnik News


MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Mikhail Podolyak said Russia will not escort ships with grain under the deal that the sides are expected to agree on at a meeting in Turkey on Friday.

"No transport escort by Russian ships and no presence of Russian representatives in our ports. In case of provocations, an immediate military response. All inspections of transport ships will be carried out by joint groups in Turkish waters in the event of such a need," Podolyak tweeted.

He added that Ukraine will not sign a "food deal" with Russia in Istanbul, the parties to the negotiations will ink it with Turkey and the United Nations.

"Ukraine does not sign any documents with Russia. We sign an agreement with Turkey and the UN and undertake obligations to them. Russia signs a mirror agreement with Turkey and the UN," Podolyak explained.

Grain supplies from Ukraine ceased earlier this year amid Russia's special military operation in the country, raising concerns about acute food shortages across the globe. The West has been blaming Russia for blocking shipments of grain, sunflower and fertilizers from Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations, noting that the crisis was provoked by Ukrainian forces, who had mined the Black Sea ports. The Kremlin also stressed that Western sanctions against Russian agricultural exports have contributed to the issue.

© Sputnik

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