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Russia offers to lift port blockade in exchange for sanctions relief

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By Euronews
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Mariupol trade port
Mariupol trade port   -   Copyright  Sergei Grits/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Russia's defence ministry says it will lift its blockade of Ukrainian ports in exchange for sanctions relief.

Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said on Thursday that Moscow will grant passage to foreign vessels if the international community reconsiders its embargoes.

More than 20 million tonnes of grain have been grounded at Ukraine's Black Sea ports since Russia invaded the country more than 3 months ago. Experts say the fall in wheat and grain exports has contributed towards the growing global food crisis.

Speaking at a news conference in Sarajevo, UK Foreign Secretary Lizz Truss accused Moscow of "holding the world to ransom" and of hurting the world's poorest people.

"It is completely appalling that (Vladimir) Putin is trying to hold the world to ransom and he's essentially weaponising hunger and lack of food amongst the poorest people around the world," she said.