A first ship loaded with 7,000 tons of grain and protected by the Russian navy has left the Ukrainian port of Berdyansk, occupied by Russia, announced Thursday the new authorities designated by Moscow.
After several months of stoppage, a first merchant ship has left the commercial port of Berdiansk, 7,000 tonnes of cereals are leaving for friendly countries
”, indicated on Telegram the head of the pro-Russian administration in the region, Evguéni Balitski.
The security of the cargo ship is ensured by the buildings and launches of the maritime military base of the Black Sea Fleet in Novorossiysk
,” he added.
Difficulties in the export of Russian cereals
Ukraine has for weeks accused Russia of stealing its wheat crops from areas occupied by the Russian army in southern Ukraine to sell it illegally internationally.
Moscow denies any theft.
Berdiansk, port of the Sea of Azov, was conquered intact by the Russian army from the beginning of the Russian offensive.
It is located in the region of Zaporijjia, largely occupied by Russia, as is the neighboring region of Kherson.
Moscow's offensive against its Ukrainian neighbour, launched on February 24, threatens to provoke a world-wide food crisis, as Ukraine, a leading grain exporter, fails to export its crops from ports still under its control. control.
Read alsoWheat prices are soaring, the food crisis threatens
Russia, for its part, assures that it would let out Ukrainian ships loaded with food products if the Ukrainian army demines its sea lanes.
kyiv refuses, fearing that the Russian army will launch an attack on the Ukrainian coast of the Black Sea, when it has already lost the entire circumference of the Sea of Azov.
Talks, involving Turkey and the UN, have so far yielded no results.
Russia for its part is also unable to export its agricultural production, an effect of the sanctions imposed by the West in retaliation for its assault on Ukraine.
Moscow has set up in the regions of Kherson and Zaporizhia authorities called "
military and civil administrations
who organize the Russification of these areas.
They say they are preparing for the annexation of these territories by Russia, as was already the case in 2014 with the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.