Countries should ask for help from the United States if they have a problem importing food and fertilizers from Russia, a US official said on Wednesday, stressing that those items are not under US sanctions imposed on Moscow over the war in Ukraine. .
“Nothing is stopping Russia from exporting its grain and fertilizer except its own policies and actions,” said US State Department Assistant Secretary for Trade and Economic Affairs Ramin Toloui.
But he added that there were concerns about “so-called over-compliance with sanctions”. Washington has applied a wide range of sanctions since Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Facilitating Russian food and grain exports is an important part of attempts by the UN and Turkish officials to strike a deal with Moscow that would allow Ukrainian grain shipments from the Black Sea port of Odessa.
A meeting between Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and UN officials is likely to be held in Istanbul in the coming weeks, sources in Turkey’s presidential office said on Tuesday.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spawned a global food crisis. Russia and Ukraine account for nearly a third of global wheat supplies. Russia is also a key exporter of fertilizers and Ukraine of corn and sunflower oil.
(Report by Michelle Nichols and Kanishka Singh)