International sanctions imposed on Moscow over its military campaign in Ukraine need to be lifted to avoid a global food crisis, a Russian deputy foreign minister said on Wednesday.
“Solving the food problem requires a comprehensive approach, including the removal of sanctions that have been imposed on Russian exports and financial transactions,” Andrei Rudenko said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies.
“It also requires Ukraine to de-mine all ports where ships are docked and Russia is ready to provide the necessary humanitarian passage,” Rudenko added.
Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine and a barrage of sanctions on Moscow over the offensive have disrupted supplies of fertilizer, wheat and other commodities from both countries.
The West has accused the Kremlin of using hunger as a weapon during its offensive in Ukraine.
Russia and Ukraine alone produce 30% of the global wheat supply.
The United Nations has urged Russian authorities to release grain stuck in Ukrainian ports due to Moscow’s military campaign.