The United States and its allies are working with Kyiv on alternative land routes to deliver critical grain to the world after Russia pulled out of the grain deal that had permitted Ukrainian grain to travel through the Black Sea, the White House said Wednesday.
“We are working with our EU partners, we’re working with Ukraine and other European partners to see if there’s other ways to get grain to market over land. But that’s not as efficient,” John Kirby, a spokesperson for the US National Security Council, told reporters at the White House Wednesday.
“The best way for this grain to get to market is through maritime lanes,” he said. “But we’re working to see what we can do.”
Some background: The US has previously warned that Russia could target civilian ships in the Black Sea and blame Ukraine after the Kremlin withdrew participation from the Black Sea grain deal earlier this month. The deal was originally brokered by Turkey and the United Nations last year to ensure the safe passage of grain from Ukrainian ports.
Ukrainian grain is critical to global food supplies, especially for developing countries. Grain prices have risen sharply since the deal collapsed and as Moscow targets Ukrainian port infrastructure.