Russia's Lavrov starts GCC visit in Bahrain

STORY: Lavrov addressed the growing concerns over food security linked to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict,

“All initiatives that are being voiced now on the topic of food security should be decided given that the Russian side has long guaranteed everything that depends on us," he said at a news conference held with his Bahraini counterpart.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine - and the West's attempt to isolate Moscow as punishment - have sent the price of grain, cooking oil, fertilizer and energy soaring.

The Kremlin said this month that it was the West that was responsible for the global food crisis by imposing the severest sanctions in modern history on Russia over the war in Ukraine.

Lavrov is expected to visit Saudi Arabia on Wednesday (June 1) where it is thought he will meet ministers from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain in the GCC headquarters in Riyadh, two Gulf officials said, asking not to be named.

The focus of the talks was not clear, although the officials said the six Gulf ministers would also hold an online meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba later on Wednesday. They declined to give details.

Gulf states have stayed neutral in the Russia-Ukraine conflict despite Western calls to help isolate Moscow.