US, allies not discussing escorting Ukrainian grain in Black Sea- White House

The United States and its allies are not discussing escorting Ukrainian grain ships in the Black Sea and are instead looking for other ways to transport grain, such as by land or river, a White House official said.

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Speaking to Voice of America, John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator of the US national security council, said "there are no active discussions about the deployment of warships to the Black Sea".

"I think we all understand that this will only increase tensions and increase the potential for a potential conflict between the West and Russia, and that's not what we want," Mr Kirby explained.

He stressed that the US wants to extend the grain deal. "We will work with our allies and partners to find other land or possibly river routes, if any are available," he said.

On July 17, 2023, Russia announced its withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, adding that it would not give guarantees of non-attack on civilian vessels after that date. On the same day, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy offered the UN and Turkey to continue the work of the corridor without Russia.

After that, Russia attacked Odesa for several nights in a row, causing serious damage to the ports in Odesa and Chornomorsk, which worked within the corridor.