*The website of the BILD newspaper is no longer accessible in Russia. The Russian media regulator has blocked access to BILD.de, which like WELT is published by Axel Springer, for readers in Russia. WELT distributes the texts of the BILD colleagues so that readers in Russia can find out about facts beyond the Russian government propaganda.

This article in German.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met on Wednesday in Ankara with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Topic of the conversation: transportation of grain from Ukraine through the Black Sea to the countries of Africa and the Middle East.

Pure mockery! Because since the beginning of the war, Putin’s army in Ukraine has been stealing grain, blocking ports and shelling elevators.

According to the Izvestia newspaper, the Turkish military must neutralize sea mines in a port near Odessa, after which Turkey will provide an escort to ships with grain.

An important point: the ships of the Russian Navy intend to escort grain carriers to the Bosphorus. Then the ships will head for customer countries in Africa and the Middle East.

According to the Putin government’s treacherous public relations plan, in the operation to unblock ports in the Black Sea, Russia should be presented as a “savior” because the Russian fleet intends to escort ships with food. Meanwhile, the Kremlin blames the West for the lack of grain supplies.

Discussing the problem with the export of grain, Minister Lavrov cheerfully stated at a meeting in Ankara: “On our part, there have never been any obstacles to solving this problem – it is actually small – to solve. If the Kyiv government has matured, we will only be happy to cooperate.”

But Ukraine fears that this could be a trap: once the territorial waters around Odessa are cleared, it will be easier for the Russian military to attack the port city.

Further blocking of grain exports could have horrendous consequences! According to Ukraine, about 23 million tons of grain and oilseeds are stored in the Black Sea ports.

Ukraine is one of the largest exporters of grain in the world, the countries of Africa and the Middle East are especially dependent on its supplies. But because of the war, exports stopped.

▶︎ Eastern Europe expert Sergei Sumlenny believes that Vladimir Putin is using hunger as a weapon.

“If food supplies from Ukraine stop, it will lead to famine in Africa and the Middle East,” he said in an interview with BILD.

As a result: people will be forced to flee from hunger. “Millions of refugees could destabilize the EU and exacerbate divisions among its individual members – as was the case during the 2015 refugee crisis,” says an expert on Eastern Europe.

▶︎Ukraine itself is also suffering from the blockade of Black Sea ports. “The naval blockade is part of Russia’s economic war against Ukraine,” Professor Joachim Krause of the Institute for Security Policy at the University of Kiel told BILD.

“They want to deprive Ukraine of the opportunity to receive income from the sale of grain and other export goods. The goal of hostilities and economic warfare is to destroy Ukraine as an independent state,” the German expert believes.

The federal government is also concerned about the situation. Today, Chancellor Olaf Scholz had a telephone conversation with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. Among other things, the issue of grain exports was discussed.