Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns other countries that grain from Russia could have been stolen in Ukraine
Kateryna Tyschenko – May 11, 2022
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has warned consumer countries that consignments of grain sold by Russia could contain grain stolen in Ukraine.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs comment on Russia’s attempts to sell stolen Ukrainian grain from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine on the international market
Quote: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine categorically condemns the actions of the Russian Federation in disposing of grain that has been illegally expropriated from Ukrainian farmers. The Russian occupiers are seizing Ukrainian grain and sending it to Russia for domestic consumption or trying to sell it on international markets.
The theft of food resources from the territory of an independent sovereign state constitutes looting.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has warned consumer countries that consignments of grain sold by Russia may contain stolen grain obtained as a result of looting by the Russian occupying authorities. We believe that any country that knowingly buys stolen grain is an accomplice to this crime.”
Details: According to the Ukrainian government, the occupiers have already stolen at least 400,000-500,000 tonnes of grain worth over US$100 million. Almost all of the ships which leave Sevastopol loaded with grain are transporting stolen Ukrainian products, the Foreign Ministry said.
Russia’s theft of Ukrainian grain is confirmed by numerous testimonies by Ukrainian farmers and documentary evidence:
- An order issued by the so-called “Berdiansk City Hall” (No. 10-p dated 7 May 2022) on the seizure of wheat and barley from a private company.
- A press release from the Legislative Assembly of Krasnoyarsk Krai in the Russian Federation (No. 379 (13593) dated 27 April 2022) on the decision of the Committee on Rural Affairs and Agricultural Policy to expropriate crops from farmers in Kherson Oblast, which is temporarily occupied by Russian armed forces. In the document, the chairman of the committee, Vladislav Zyryanov, also voiced the Russian authorities’ intention to extend this policy to other regions of Ukraine.
- Proposals by Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture to postpone the introduction of the federal state information system for tracking the origin of grain and grain products for one year.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that the criminal seizure, export and use of Ukrainian grain by Russia violates the basic principles of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – to promote food security and end hunger.
“This policy of the aggressor state calls into question whether its membership in the FAO and other international organisations is appropriate. We demand that Russia stop the theft of grain, unblock Ukrainian ports, restore freedom of navigation, and allow the passage of merchant ships”, the statement said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also called on the international community to strengthen economic sanctions to stop Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and deterioration of the global food security situation.
Previously: Russia is stealing and exporting hundreds of thousands of tonnes of grain from Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts.
On 10 May the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense said that grain stolen from Ukraine was already in the Mediterranean, most likely destined for Syria.