Moscow Rejects Claims Russia's Military is Smuggling Grain From Ukraine
08:29 GMT 25.05.2022 (Updated: 11:37 GMT 17.07.2023)
© Sputnik / Igor KostinWheat at dusk
© Sputnik / Igor Kostin
Last week, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) called for expansion of solutions to tackle food crisis, which is aggravating global food insecurity amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and economic crises.
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said on Wednesday that Moscow completely rejects claims that the Russian military is smuggling grain from Ukrainian ports.
"We completely reject this. We don't steal anything from anyone," Rudenko said.
Previously CNN published satellite photos allegedly confirming that Russia is smuggling grain from Ukraine through Crimea.
Russia admits the possibility of holding international negotiations on the unblocking of Ukrainian ports and the exports of Ukrainian grain,Andrey Rudenko said, adding that Russia interacts with the UN on the matter.
"We are interacting with the UN on these issues, the issue was discussed in detail during the visit of [UN Secretary-General Antonio] Guterres to Moscow. Further consultations are underway on how the UN can help in this situation," Rudenko told reporters when asked whether Moscow admits the possibility of international talks on the unblocking of Ukrainian ports and the export of grain.
Earleir, the UN World Food Programme issued multiple warnings that continuing hostilities in Ukraine drive food prices up and risk global hunger, as the Black Sea basin is one of the most important regions for the production of grain and agricultural products.
Ukraine and Russia account for an estimated 30% of global exports of wheat, 20% of global exports of maize, and 76% of sunflower.