Ukraine on Wednesday dismissed as “empty words” assurances from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Moscow will not use the situation to its advantage if Kyiv allows grain shipments to leave safely via the Black Sea.

“Military equipment is required to protect the coastline and a navy mission to patrol the export routes in the Black Sea. Russia cannot be allowed to use grain corridors to attack southern Ukraine,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko tweeted.

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