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The U.S. is deeply skeptical of Russia’s intentions in negotiations to allow Ukraine to resume food exports through the Black Sea, given the Russian military’s repeated targeting of such food supplies.
The United Nations is attempting to negotiate a deal with Russia to allow Ukraine to make key exports, namely grain. The loss of exports from the country has exacerbated food shortages in some areas of the world.
U.S. officials argue Russian President Vladimir Putin made such disruptions on purpose, pointing to the repeated targeting of such supplies, Politico reported Sunday.
“It’s hard to view the Russian offers in good faith considering how they are actively and intentionally destroying food products in Ukraine and exacerbating global food insecurity,” a U.S. official told Politico.
Russia is currently holding a blockade on Ukraine’s port of Odesa causing a backlog of roughly 20 million tons of grain.
The negotiations come as Putin appears to have ordered an escalation in the war on Ukraine, with missiles striking the capital of Kyiv for the first time in more than a month on Sunday.
Putin threatened to strike at new targets after the U.S. delivered advanced rocket systems in its latest package of military aid to Ukraine last week.
President Joe Biden approved an additional $700 million in military aid to Ukraine last week.
The package included everything from rocket systems to spare parts for vehicles and other equipment. Most notable were the Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, the weapons Putin had referred to as an escalation on the part of the U.S.
The package only added to the existing $4.6 billion in security assistance the U.S. has already granted to Ukraine under President Biden’s administration alone.