Any Russian bid to stop grain leaving Ukraine ‘unacceptable’: UK


UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

FRANK AUGSTEIN / POOL / AFP

  • UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has warned Russia that preventing grain exports from Ukraine is “completely unacceptable”.
  • UK’s foreign minister James Cleverly expressed concerns that Russia may target civilian ships in the Black Sea to disrupt Ukraine’s food exports.
  • The UK is closely collaborating with Turkey to restore the grain deal, and the UN Security Council will discuss Russia’s actions in Odesa.

Any efforts by Russia to prevent grain from leaving Ukraine would be “completely unacceptable”, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Tuesday, as his foreign minister warned that civilian ships in the Black Sea could be targeted.

Sunak said he had talked to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky by phone “and made it clear that any Russian attempt to stop grain leaving Ukraine is completely unacceptable”.

His foreign minister James Cleverly tweeted that the UK was concerned that Russia was planning to disrupt grain exports.

“The UK believes that Russia may escalate its campaign to destroy Ukraine’s food exports by targeting civilian ships in the Black Sea,” he said.

“Russia should stop holding global food supplies hostage and return to the deal,” Cleverly added.

Sunak and Zelensky also “discussed recent developments on the battlefield and the continued progress by Ukrainian forces despite the challenging conditions,” according to a read out from Sunak’s office.

Sunak told the Ukrainian leader that the UK was “working closely with Turkey on restoring the grain deal”.

This month, Russia scrapped a grain export deal with Ukraine and has been pounding the country’s Black Sea port areas, particularly Odesa and some of its historic buildings.

The UK’s ambassador to the UN, Barbara Woodward, told reporters Tuesday that the Security Council would meet on Wednesday to discuss “Russia’s escalatory attacks on Odesa and attempt to weaponise global food supplies”.


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