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Ukraine’s envoy to Turkey accuses Russia of stealing Ukrainian grain


Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey, Vasyl Bodnar, claimed on Friday that Russia was stealing Ukrainian grain and sending it abroad, including to Turkey.

“Russia shamelessly steals Ukrainian grain and sends it overseas from Crimea, including to Turkey,” Ambassador Bodnar said. He was quoted by AFP.

“We have requested Turkey’s help to solve the problem,” he added in a message on Twitter.

Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat and sunflower oil. However, the Russian invasion of the country disrupted the export, leading many to predict a global food crisis. The Russian invasion began on February 24. The conflict lasted 100 days.

Watch | 100 Days of the Russian-Ukrainian War: No End in Sight

Turkey has made a careful balance between Ukraine and Russia, it maintains cordial relations with both countries.

NATO member Turkey has delivered combat drones to Ukraine and has sought to mediate in the conflict, but has refrained from imposing sanctions on Russia, on which it depends for its cereals and its energy.

Read also | “Victory will be ours,” Ukrainian President Zelensky says on 100th day of fighting with Russia

At the request of the United Nations, Turkey has offered to help secure maritime corridors for the export of Ukrainian grain.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is due to visit Turkey on Wednesday.

Read also | War in Ukraine: EU bans most Russian oil, targets Putin’s alleged girlfriend with sanctions

Food prices have soared since the start of the war, with countries in Africa and the Middle East particularly at risk as grain cannot be delivered due to the Russian Navy’s blockade of Ukrainian ports in the black Sea.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 10:53pm on Monday June 13th, 2022