G20: Blinken calls on Russia to 'let the grain out of Ukraine'

G20: Blinken calls on Russia to “let grain out of Ukraine

BET À DAY

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed his Russian counterpart at closed-door G20 talks in Bali, demanding that Moscow allow grain shipments from war-ravaged Ukraine , said a Western official. 

“To our Russian colleagues: Ukraine is not your country. His grain is not your grain. Why are you blocking ports? You should let the grain out,” Blinken told Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whom he declined to meet separately, according to a Western official present.

Mr. Blinken spoke to the Russian delegation about US financial assistance to address global food shortages triggered by the war in Ukraine, one of the world's largest grain exporters.

“Russia is the source of the problem , the United States is focused on solutions,” he said, according to the Western official.

Ukraine has seen its production blocked by Moscow's military offensive, causing a surge prices which have particularly affected poor countries.

Moscow says it will allow Ukrainian ships loaded with food products to sail if the Ukrainian army demines its ports, which kyiv, which fears for the security from its Black Sea shores, refuses to consider.