Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused the West of trying to create a crisis in the export of grain and fertilizers from his country, and while Ankara is waiting for Moscow's approval of a UN export plan, London called on London to search for alternative paths to get food products out of Ukraine in case the Turkish path stumbles.
Lavrov said that Western attempts to link the issue of the supply of Russian grain and fertilizer with the issue of lifting the blockade of Ukrainian ports aim to introduce NATO forces into the Black Sea basin and control the grain export mechanism, considering this unacceptable.
Lavrov added in a press conference held in Moscow with his Venezuelan counterpart that this cannot happen, because the Black Sea basin countries understand the situation well, as he put it.
As for Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, he said that his country plans to establish a corridor to transport Ukrainian and Russian grain through the Black Sea, and that Ankara is waiting for Moscow's approval of the UN export plan.
The Russian war affected the export of Ukrainian grain and created a food crisis (Reuters)
For his part, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that alternative paths should be considered to remove the grain stuck in Ukraine if the Bosphorus strait in Turkey could not be used.
Despite Johnson's assertion in a speech before Parliament that the Turks are indispensable to solve this problem, praising their efforts in this path, he suggested the possibility of using the Danube and other rivers to liberate the besieged Ukrainian grain.
He told lawmakers that "alternative methods" would be considered if Russia continued to close the sea route.
He stressed that there is no plan to breach the Montreux Convention that restricts the movement of warships through the Turkish Straits, but the rivers and railways option will allow the export of less grain.
Russia's blockade of the Black Sea has raised fears of starvation around the world.
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood - who chairs the House of Commons defense committee - repeated calls for the UK to secure a UN General Assembly resolution to create a "humanitarian safe haven" around the port of Odessa, to ensure that "vital grain exports reach not only Europe, but also Africa and prevent The famine is there.
"The action is led by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and the UK is making a huge effort to support it," the prime minister said in the House of Commons, but noted the importance of being prepared for a solution that did not depend on Russia's approval in case of necessity.
Zelensky confirmed that his country is looking for (European) guarantees.
Conversations and guarantees
On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine is in talks with Turkey and the United Nations to obtain guarantees regarding grain exports from Ukrainian ports.
He added that this is very important that someone guarantees the security of the ships of this or that country, except for Russia, which we do not trust, so we need security for those ships that will come here to load food.
Ukraine - one of the world's largest grain exporters - accuses Russia of obstructing the movement of its ships, and Zelensky said 22 million tons of grain are currently stuck, and about 60 million more tons are expected to be harvested in the fall.
Meanwhile, Reuters news agency quoted a prominent Turkish official as saying that Turkey had stopped a Russian-flagged cargo ship off its Black Sea coast, and was investigating Ukrainian accusations that the ship was carrying stolen grain.
The official added that Turkey is in contact with Russia, the United Nations and third parties regarding this issue.
The Ukrainian ambassador to Turkey said that the Turkish customs authorities had detained the ship "Cybek Joli", which Ukraine had previously asked Turkey to seize.
Kyiv accuses Moscow of stealing grain from lands seized by Russian forces since they invaded Ukraine in late February, while the Kremlin denies this.