“It is Russia that is actively blocking food exports from Ukrainian ports and increasing world hunger,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said in Washington on Thursday. There would be tons of grain stored in silos in Ukraine and on ships that could not be shipped because of the Russian naval blockade. The sanctions would prevent neither the export nor the necessary monetary transactions. There is currently no discussion about lifting sanctions, said Jean-Pierre.
Russia had called on the West to lift sanctions in view of the grain exports blocked in Ukraine. The West had imposed a variety of trade sanctions on Russia that were hurting the economy. Russia and Ukraine are large grain exporters with an important role in world nutrition. Ukraine had previously accused Russia of blackmail and urged the West not to lift sanctions imposed over Moscow’s war of aggression under any circumstances.