About 25 million tons of grain now sit in Ukrainian silos blockaded by Russian ships. By disrupting global food and energy supplies, the Kremlin seeks to spark multiple international crises, forcing the West to pressure Ukraine into negotiations. The U.S. should spoil Russia’s strategy by establishing a maritime corridor with a naval coalition of the willing to ensure Ukrainian grain can reach foreign ports. That would alleviate the global food crisis while undermining a key element of Russian leverage over Ukraine and its allies.
From his initial military buildup, Vladimir Putin has aimed to shock Kyiv and the West into submission without having to martial the forces necessary to conquer Ukraine outright. Moscow has pushed to achieve objectives that aren’t geostrategic in the usual sense of allowing Russian forces an easier military victory, but that instead could put pressure on Ukraine’s allies to back off and force President Volodymyr Zelensky to capitulate.