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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned nations on Tuesday against buying gains from Moscow as Russian forces stole agricultural supplies and grain from occupied areas of Ukraine.
“Russian thieves steal Ukrainian grain, load it onto ships, cross the Bosphorus and try to sell it abroad,” he says in reference to a narrow Turkish strait that separates the European and Asian continents. “I call on all states to remain vigilant and refuse such proposals. Do not become complicit in Russian crimes.”
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed to Fox News earlier this month that Russian forces were stealing his grain and exporting it to third countries.
Zelenskyy would not say which countries were involved in the illicit business, but said kyiv was in constant communication with foreign embassies in an effort to circumvent the theft.
“They are occupying our ports and they are taking our goods,” he said. “I don’t want to name specific countries that, behind our backs, are making these deals.”
Zelenskyy claimed that these nations openly supported Ukraine in its war against Russia and condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s murderous war. But he claimed they were also negotiating with Moscow over buying grain stolen from Ukraine in a bid to get a “cheaper” price.
UN officials have sounded the alarm that the war and Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports will have a devastating effect on the world’s food supply.
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Before the war, Ukraine was responsible for contributing more than 10% to the world wheat market.
Although it is unclear exactly how Moscow’s wheat exports might be affected by war and international sanctions, Russia was also responsible for an additional 20% of world exports, meaning that 30% of world wheat supplies wheat could be threatened in 2022.
Not only has Russia been hammering Ukraine for over three months, it has essentially imposed a trade blockade from the Black Sea.
“It’s a no-go area for commercial shipping,” General Mark Milley told reporters on Monday. “Many countries in the world depend on Ukrainian grain.
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“Odessa is a major port for Ukraine. It is their access to the sea and the outside world, and it becomes an important vehicle through which grain, for example, is exported and other products flow out of Ukraine” , he explained. “Because of the mines, because of the Russian fleet, because of the risks associated with it, it hasn’t happened here for almost 90 days.”
Milley said it was unclear when Ukrainian ports might reopen.
The general said there was a “stalemate” in the Black Sea between Ukrainian and Russian forces as kyiv continued its attempts to prevent Moscow from launching a successful ground attack on Odessa.
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