Russia, which has been blocking Ukrainian agricultural exports by sea for weeks, has now imported grain into its own country from the occupied Black Sea region of Cherson.
Kirill Stremusov, the deputy chief of the pro-Russian military administration in Kherson, told the state news agency TASS on Monday that exports of last year’s harvest to Russia had started.
According to Stremoussow, the aim is to make space in the stores for the new harvest. Therefore, part of the grain stocks were sold to Russia. He did not provide any information on the conditions under which the farmers handed over their crops to Russia.
On Monday, Kyiv again accused Moscow of stealing grain supplies from the occupied territories. Russian troops illegally exported nearly 500,000 tons of grain from Kharkiv, Kherson, Zaporizhia, Luhansk and Donetsk, Ukraine’s Deputy Agriculture Minister Taras Vysotskyi said on Monday. Larger quantities are said to have been shipped via the port of Mariupol, which was conquered by Russian troops, it was said recently.
Ukraine is one of the largest grain exporters in the world. After the start of the war of aggression against the neighboring country ordered by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin and the blockade of the Ukrainian Black Sea ports by Russian warships, global food prices have risen significantly. Western politicians accuse Russia of speculating on a hunger crisis and using it as a means of pressure for the West to relax sanctions. Moscow denies these allegations.
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