Wheat prices spike as Ukraine, Russia vie for control of Black Sea ports

The Black Sea Grain Initiative is dead in the water, and Russia is warning that any ships seen traveling to Ukraine’s Black Sea ports from now on will be considered potential military targets.

The warning came after Ukraine announced plans to continue exporting grain and other food via a temporary shipping route to get around the canceled initiative, the rules of which only Russia was abiding by.

Ukraine feels as though it can simply flout the rules, but Russia is saying no way. It’s defense ministry (MoD) said that “the flag countries of such ships will be considered parties to the Ukrainian conflict,” meaning any ship seen using Ukrainian ports will be considered as one side or the other in the conflict based on the flags flown.

In its own retaliatory message to this warning, Ukraine threatened to attack any tankers seen using Russian ports – even though Ukraine has little to no actual navy to back such a ridiculous threat.

By all appearances, Volodymyr Zelensky is trying to look as tough as Russia but lacks the manpower and weaponry to actually follow through on its threat. Russia, conversely, is showing amazing restraint in putting up with Ukraine’s ongoing chicanery.

(Related: At least one third of the armored fighting vehicles the United States sent to Ukraine have already been destroyed by Russian forces.)

Black Sea’s southeastern, northwestern international waters declared “unsafe” for navigation

As usual, Western “intelligence” is claiming that Russia has begun laying mines throughout the Black Sea to block Ukrainian ports. If history is any indicator, this means that Western powers are the ones laying said mines while blaming Russia for them.

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Right now, both Ukraine and Russia have declared the southeastern and northwestern portions of the Black Sea’s international waters to be no go zones that are “unsafe” for navigation. Neither country, however, has specified the exact routes or locations that could be the subject of intervention.

To get around this latest blockade, Ukraine says it plans to work with Romania to set up a temporary shipping route at its country’s ports.

“Its goal is to facilitate the unblocking of international shipping in the northwestern part of the Black Sea,” said Vasyl Shkurakov, Ukraine’s acting minister for communications, territories, and infrastructure development, in a letter to the United Nations shipping agency, known as the International Maritime Organization.

After the termination of the grain deal, Russian members left the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, a Turkish news outlet has confirmed. Since then, wheat prices have continued their upward trajectory.

Turkey says it is still holding out hope that the Black Sea Grain Initiative will once again be restored, but Russia says not until all parties agree to abide by the terms of the agreement, which again only Russia was doing.

Officials in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, said that there is “no alternative to the grain corridor” that is the subject of all this conflict – which is more than likely true. This is all the more reason why Ukraine must abide by the terms of the agreement and stop using the “grain” cover to ship disguised weapons in and out of its ports.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced that the UN-backed deal can resume only if Russia’s conditions are met.

“As soon as the Russian part is completed, the Russian side will return to the implementation of this deal immediately,” Peskov said, adding that the agreement as it currently stands has “been de facto stopped.”

The chances of this happening anytime soon, however, are slim based on the “tit-for-tat threats,” to quote one media outlet, that continue to occur between Russia and Ukraine.

Is the world heading towards famine? Learn more at Collapse.news.

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