Live Updates | UK sees increasing pressure on grain prices

LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) /PRNewswire/ — British military authorities say Ukraine’s overland export routes are “highly unlikely” to offset problems caused by Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea port of Odessa.

And that will put further pressure on global grain prices.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense says in an update issued Wednesday morning there has been no “significant” merchant shipping to or from Odessa since the start of the Russian invasion.

The ministry says the blockade coupled with the lack of overland routes means significant stocks of grain remain in storage and cannot be exported.

“While the threat of the Russian naval blockade continues to hamper merchant shipping access to Ukrainian ports, the resulting supply shortages will further increase the price of many staple foods,” the ministry said.



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— Delegations from Sweden and Finland go to Turkey NATO Talks

— US over solvency of Russia international investors

– Great Britain agrees to sell Chelsea Football club from sanctioned Abramovich


Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at



Kyiv, Ukraine – A regional governor in eastern Ukraine says at least six civilians have been killed by recent Russian shelling.


Lugansk region governor Serhiy Haidai said Wednesday that another eight people were injured in the shelling of the city of Sievierodonetsk over the past 24 hours.

Sievierodonetsk is the epicenter of fighting in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland, the Donbass, where Russian forces have stepped up their offensive despite stiff Ukrainian resistance.

Haidai accused the Russians of deliberately targeting dugouts where civilians were hiding.


ANKARA, Turkey — Delegations from Sweden and Finland are scheduled to hold talks with senior Turkish officials in Ankara on Wednesday to overcome Turkey’s objections to its historic bids to join NATO.

Sweden and Finland last week submitted their written applications to join the alliance, a move that marks one of the biggest geopolitical ramifications of Russia’s war in Ukraine — and one that could rewrite Europe’s security map.

Turkey has said it opposes the two Nordic countries’ membership in the military alliance. It cites grievances about perceived Swedish – and to a lesser extent Finland – support for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and other organizations that Turkey sees as a security threat. She also accuses the two of imposing arms export restrictions on Turkey and refusing to extradite suspected “terrorists”.


Turkey’s objections have dampened Stockholm’s and Helsinki’s hopes of speedy NATO membership in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and jeopardized the transatlantic alliance’s credibility. All 30 NATO members must agree to accept new members.


BERLIN – Germany’s foreign minister says Russia has left Sweden and Finland “no choice” but to join NATO.

Annalena Baerbock said Germany would support the two countries’ membership, calling it “a real asset” for the military alliance.

She was addressing a meeting of the Council of Baltic Sea States late Tuesday before her visit to Norway.

Baerbock said Germany will use its presidency of the group from July to promote the use of offshore wind energy in the Baltic Sea to help countries wean off Russian energy imports.


WASHINGTON — The US on Wednesday will close the last avenue for Russia to repay its billions in debt to international investors, making a Russian default all but inevitable for the first time since the Bolshevik revolution.


The Treasury Department said in a statement it has no plans to renew the license that allowed Russia to continue paying its debtors through American banks.

Since the first round of sanctions, the Treasury has licensed banks to process all dollar-denominated bond payments from Russia. This window expires at midnight on May 25th.


LONDON – Roman Abramovich’s 19-year tenure of Chelsea is ending after the British government approved the sale of the Premier League club by the sanctioned Russian oligarch to a consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers partner Todd Boehly.

The government had to ensure Abramovich, who was sanctioned for his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin after invading Ukraine, did not benefit from the forced sale of the club his investment turned into one of the most successful in European football.

The reigning FIFA Club World Cup winners and 2021 European champions are being sold for £2.5bn ($3.1bn) – the highest price ever for a sports team – with Premier League approval as early as Tuesday was granted.


Chelsea have been operating under a government license that expires on May 31 since Abramovich’s assets were frozen in March.

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Sarah Y. Kim

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