John Kirby, Strategic Communications Coordinator of the White House National Security Council, answered journalists’ questions at the daily press conference.
Describing Russia’s decision to withdraw from the Black Sea Grain Corridor Agreement as “irresponsible and dangerous”, Kirby said it would exacerbate food shortages and harm millions of vulnerable people around the world.
Kirby noted that the Black Sea Grain Corridor Initiative is “critical in reducing food prices, which have risen due to Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine,” pointing to its importance for developing and poor countries.
Saying that “Russia’s resumption of its effective blockade of Ukrainian ports and its decision to prevent grain from reaching the world market” will affect people all over the world, Kirby said, “Russia will be fully and exclusively responsible for the consequences of this act of military aggression.”
Kirby stated that they urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to reverse his decision.
On the other hand, Kirby noted that the USA will continue to work with other countries and partners in the UN to ensure that grain reaches the global market, and shared the view that the sanctions imposed on Russia do not target grain, food and fertilizer, but that this is “Russian propaganda”.
Kirby gave the message that the possibility of removing grain from land would be more complex and not as efficient as ships.
Crimean bridge attack
Regarding the attack on the Crimean bridge, Kirby said, “At this point, we are not in a position to attribute the attack to any one side.”
Kirby said that he did not think that the attack had anything to do with Russia’s decision not to extend the grain initiative agreement, and that Russian President Vladimir Putin had already made his decision in this direction.
Indicating that the Ukrainians are fighting for their own land, Kirby said, “Crimea is Ukraine.”