Britain is in discussions with Ukraine about how to help get grain out of the country after Russia blocked its main sea ports, transport minister Grant Shapps said on Tuesday.

Shapps said he was very concerned about the issue, which has seen global food prices soar as Ukraine is unable to export nearly 25 million tonnes of grains, and met Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksander Kubrakov last week.

"We were discussing details which I can’t go into but about how infrastructure could be in place to ensure the grain leaves," Shapps told Sky News.

"We're looking at all the different options ... there are lots of different potential ways to get grain and other goods out of the country," he said. "It's absolutely essential that we do, otherwise there could be a lot of hunger and indeed even famine."

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Farouq Suleiman, editing by Elizabeth Piper)