Russia says the United States is causing a food crisis in Ukraine by depriving the former Soviet country of its grain reserves.
Since the start of Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, unprecedented waves of sanctions by the United States and its European allies have been imposed on Moscow. They are also dumping advanced weapons into Ukraine, a move that Moscow has repeatedly warned will prolong the conflict.
The ongoing war and resulting blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports has endangered the world’s food supply by preventing Ukraine from shipping its agricultural products.
Ukraine, one of the largest grain producers in the world, is a major exporter of corn, barley, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil. However, it can no longer export its grain through its Black Sea ports due to the war, which has cut its grain exports this month by more than half compared to a year ago.
On Saturday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that the United States was triggering a food crisis in Ukraine by depriving the country of its grain worship.
“U.S. President Joe Biden’s May 10 statement on the need to seek opportunities to export 20 million tons of grain from Ukraine coincided with the signing of the Lend-Lease law for Ukraine. It turns out that kyiv will pay for weapons with wheat,” she told a press conference.
“In fact, the United States itself is causing a food crisis in Ukraine, depriving it of grain reserves,” Zakharova said, commenting on the food security situation amid statements by officials from foreign countries regarding the alleged “blockage” of the Black Sea.
Russia and Ukraine together produce nearly 30% of the world’s wheat supply.
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP), which buys nearly 50% of its cereals from Ukraine, feeds some 125 million people worldwide.
Zakharova further pointed out that the United States and its European allies have already expressed their intention to export 20 million tons of grain from Ukraine within two and a half months, allegedly for transport to countries in Africa and Middle East to prevent a food crisis there.
“However, in reality, the grain is transported to warehouses in Europe. Rail, road and river routes are organized for its delivery to destinations in Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Romania and Bulgaria,” the Russian diplomat added.
“Attempts by the West to blame all the problems on a special military operation and to accuse Russia of blocking foreign ships in the ports of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov are absolutely baseless “, emphasized Zakharova.
Refuting claims that the ongoing war has caused the prices of agricultural products to soar around the world, she said that the prices of these products have increased in 2020, which is in no way the result of the operation. Russia’s present day in Ukraine.
“The pandemic has caused major disruptions to supply chains and dramatically increased the price of food transportation services,” Zakharova explained.
She also cited experts from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations who repeatedly said that the prices of these products had reached record figures before February, denouncing the anti-Russian sanctions of the West as the “main catalyst” of existing negative trends.