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Ukraine says Russians are stealing wheat and ‘threatening world food security’

Ukrainian officials have accused Russian forces of “stealing” wheat from occupied parts of the country, a move that increases the threat to global food security.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by Reuters: “The looting of grain in the Kherson region, as well as the blocking of shipments at Ukrainian ports and the mining of sea lanes, threatens the food security of the world.”

The Ministry demanded that Russia stop “illegal grain theft, unblock Ukrainian ports, restore freedom of navigation and allow the passage of merchant ships. Through its illegal actions, Russia is robbing not only Ukraine but also consumers abroad.”

“The United Nations estimates that around 1.7 billion people could face poverty and hunger due to food shortages as a result of a large-scale war waged by Russia against Ukraine,” the ministry added.

Asked about the allegations by Reuters, the Kremlin said it had no information on the matter.

The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces also said on Friday that Russian troops were “stealing” wheat stockpiles, while heavy fighting continues in the eastern and southern regions of the country.

“Russian occupiers are robbing villagers,” the General Staff said. “So, for example, more than 60 tons of wheat along with the cargo trucks were stolen from the agricultural cooperative in the city of Kamianka-Dniprovska.”

THE CNN cannot independently verify these claims.

Ivan Fedorov, mayor of the southern city of Melitopol, which has been under the control of Russian troops for weeks, also spoke about the withdrawal of grain stockpiles.

“Today it has moved to an industrial scale,” he said. “Yesterday we published a video of a convoy of more than 50 cars with trailers removing grain from our occupied territories. And today we don’t know where they sent him.”

The area around Melitopol produces substantial cereal crops.

Ukraine is known as the “breadbasket of Europe” and is an important source of wheat and maize – especially for countries in the Middle East and North Africa that depend on imports. The likely interruption of their harvest this year could be a disaster, leaving these countries short on supply – and pushing up prices for important agricultural products.

Source: CNN Brasil

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