The United Nations is talking with Russia about the possibility of opening up Ukraine’s Black Sea ports for grain shipments to get exported.
Ukraine is one of the largest grain producers in the world and usually exports goods through its seaports. However, Russia controls the Black Sea ports, which has forced Ukraine to export by train or through its smaller ports along the Danube River.
Reuters says that Russia responded to the U.N. appeal by saying that sanctions on Russia would have to get reviewed if it were to allow the ports to reopen.
U.N. Food Chief David Beasley appealed directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying, “If you have any heart at all, please open these ports.”
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister says the sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and EU are interfering with normal free trade, including food products like wheat, fertilizers, and many other goods.