The USA is not considering the option of transporting Ukrainian grain by sea with military escort

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The US administration believes that the export of Ukrainian grain by land will be less effective than by sea as part of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, while not considering the option of escorting cargo ships with warships, said the representative of the US National Security Council, John Kirby.

“The only option is to transport by land, railway, truck. Of course, nowadays everything is transported by land in Ukraine… It is more difficult, less efficient,” he said at a briefing on Monday, commenting on the situation with Russia’s decision to withdraw from the “grain agreement”.

He noted that the US will make every effort to help Ukraine export grain. At the same time, Kirby admitted that it would be impossible to carry out transportation in the scope of the Black Sea Initiative.

“No, this has not become an option that is being actively promoted,” said Kirby, answering a journalist’s question about the possibility of transporting grain by sea accompanied by warships.

As reported, the Black Sea Grain Initiative was concluded in Istanbul on July 22, 2022 with the participation of the UN, Ukraine, Turkey and Russia. Its essence is the creation of a corridor for the export of grain from three Ukrainian ports: “Black Sea”, “Odesa” and “South” in the conditions of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The initiative was concluded for 120 days. The action of the initiative was extended in November 2022 for 120 days, until March, then twice more for two months. It expired on July 17, and Russia has said it will return to its implementation only after the Russian part of the requirements is met.

Earlier, on May 25, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation stated that the Black Sea Grain Initiative will have to look for alternatives if “Rossilhospbank” is not connected to SWIFT and there is no progress in the implementation of other “systemic” problems blocking Russian agricultural exports.

In total, 32.75 million tons of agricultural products were exported from Ukraine during the operation of the “grain corridor” from the beginning of August 2022. At the same time, since the beginning of May, due to the position of the Russian side, the deepest Ukrainian port “Pivdenny” has been excluded from the “grain agreement”.

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