The Black Sea Grain Initiative can be revived, but not by succumbing to blackmail and catering to Russia's whims.
Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba said this while commenting on the meeting between Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, the CFTS portal reports, citing the Interfax Ukraine news agency.
"If someone is meeting without Ukraine, it does not mean that they are talking without Ukraine," Kuleba said, adding that Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan recently visited Kyiv to hold a "very substantive conversation."
"Then he went to Moscow. We understand the logic of the discussion. Our position is very simple: the Black Sea Grain Initiative should be revived. Second, it should be revived not through blackmail or by catering to Russia's whims," the foreign minister said.
According to the minister, Ukraine insists on the establishment of an alternative corridor.
"The technical possibility for this exists. We need to strengthen the additional security capabilities. We have already shown that it works. By the way, we have seen that countries are showing interest in helping us to ensure steady operation of this corridor," Kuleba said.
"If we make concessions to them (the Russians) now, they will come back; they will come out again in a month and make new demands. Third, it is necessary to simultaneously develop maritime corridors as an alternative to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, given that Russia cannot be trusted. Ukraine is successfully doing this, and you know about the ships that have already left," Kuleba said.
It should be noted that Russia is actively promoting the supply of 1 million tons of grain to Turkey at a reduced price as an alternative to the grain deal.
Some experts have said that although the grain deal played a positive role at a certain stage, it essentially authorized a Russian naval embargo of Ukraine under the auspices of the United Nations, allowing Russia to unilaterally block the international sea route in the Black Sea. Therefore, according to them, what is needed is not a return to the grain deal format, but a complete unblocking of the maritime trade routes in the region.