Ukraine accuses Russia of stealing grain during war


(Reuters) – Ukraine accused Russia on Thursday of stealing grain in territory it has occupied, an act which it stated elevated the menace to international meals safety posed by disruptions to spring sowing and the blocking of Ukrainian ports during the war.

Asked in regards to the allegations, the Kremlin stated it had no data on the matter.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated in a written assertion that it “strongly condemns the prison actions of the Russian Federation within the so-called expropriation of crops from farmers within the Kherson area” of southern Ukraine.

It gave no additional particulars of the alleged theft of grain within the Kherson area, whose most important metropolis has been occupied by the Russian forces for the reason that early days of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24.

“The looting of grain from the Kherson area, in addition to the blocking of shipments from Ukrainian ports and the mining of delivery lanes, threaten the world’s meals safety,” it stated.

“We demand that Russia cease the unlawful theft of grain, unblock Ukrainian ports, restore freedom of navigation and permit the passage of service provider ships.”

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s workplace stated in a separate assertion that it had opened a prison case into allegations that Russian troopers, threatening violence, had on April 26 taken away 61 tonnes of wheat from an agricultural enterprise within the Zaporizhzhia area of southern Ukraine.

Reuters was unable instantly to confirm the assertion.

Asked by Reuters if the Kremlin had any details about Ukraine’s accusations, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated by way of the Telegram messaging app: “No. We have no idea the place this data comes from”.

According to International Grains Council knowledge, Ukraine was the world’s fourth-largest grain exporter within the 2020/21 season, promoting 44.7 million tonnes overseas. The quantity of exports has fallen sharply for the reason that Russian invasion.

“Through its unlawful actions, Russia is robbing not solely Ukraine but in addition customers overseas. The United Nations estimates that about 1.7 billion individuals might face poverty and starvation as a consequence of meals disruptions because of this of a full-scale war waged by Russia in opposition to Ukraine,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated.

(Additional reporting by Mark Trevelyan, Editing by Timothy Heritage, William Maclean)

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