Russia has been accused of stealing ‘several hundred thousand tons’ of grain from areas of Ukraine it controls
Ukrainian Deputy Agriculture Minister Taras Vysotskiy made the accusation on Saturday, according to Reuters. He said an additional 1.5 million tonnes of grain in Russian-controlled territories of Ukraine could also be stolen.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry first made the statement on Thursday in a Tweeter“We demand that Russia stop the illicit theft of grain, unblock Ukrainian ports, restore freedom of navigation and allow the passage of commercial ships,” he said.
He added that the looting of grain risks worsening “world food security”.
Ukraine is suffering from a growing humanitarian crisis, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Over 1.7 billion people are at risk of poverty and starvation, the United Nations and The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry pointed outdue to disruptions in the food production system caused by Russia.
The Kremlin has denied accusations that Russian forces committed acts of theft, saying it did not know the source of the information.
According to Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi, grain theft has increased over the past two weeks, according to Reuters. “I personally hear this from many silo owners in the occupied territory. It’s outright theft. And it happens all over the occupied territory,” Solskyi said.
In recent weeks, there have been reports that a global famine could result from Russia’s war with Ukraine. german agriculture minister urged Western nations to increase their armaments to the war-stricken country to avoid the possibility of such a crisis.