United Nations (Tass-NewZiana) – Russia can offer 25 million tonnes of grain for export to help avert hunger around the world starting from August 1 and until the end of this year, the country’s UN ambassador, Vasily Nebenzya said on Thursday, speaking at a UN Security Council meeting on conflicts and food security.
The world is facing a huge grain deficit after food exports from Russia and Ukraine were affected by the ongoing war between the two countries, which are among the biggest grain exporters in the world.
Russian exports have been affected by Western sanctions imposed in response to the war, and also a limited export ban imposed by the government to secure domestic supplies.
But Nebenzya, said Russia “continues to remain a responsible supplier of food and energy.”
“This year, we expect a record high wheat harvest. In this regard, we can offer 25 million tonnes of grain for export from the port of Novorossiysk starting on August 1 and until the end of this year,” the envoy said.
“We can also discuss other procurements, including considering that, between June and December, potential export of fertilizers will stand at least 22 million tonnes. But, if you have no intention to withdraw your sanctions, imposed on your own initiative, then why do you accuse us? Why the poorest nations and regions have to suffer because of your irresponsible geopolitical games?” the diplomat underscored, addressing the representatives of Western states.
According to Nebenzya, in the current circumstances, attempts to “groundlessly shift responsibility” for deteriorating food situation in the world on Russia “are not just absurd, they are sacrilegious.”
Nebenzya said that grain exports from Ukrainian ports have been blocked because of actions by Ukraine, not Russia.
“You claim that we are allegedly blocking the possibility of exporting agricultural products from Ukraine by sea,” he said at a UN Security Council meeting on food security. “However, the truth is that it’s Ukraine, not Russia, that continues to block 75 foreign ships from 17 states in the ports of Nikolayev, Kherson, Chernomorsk, Mariupol, Ochakov, Odessa and Yuzhny, and it was Ukraine that mined the waterways.”
“Given that, how can we talk about grain export?” he said. “And no matter what you say here today, only you can change this situation, gentlemen.”.
Exported Ukrainian grain does not go to countries in need, but is being loaded in EU storages – possibly as payment for arms shipments, Nebenzya said.
“A logical question arises: where do these shipments [of Ukrainian grain] go? What do they have to do with ensuring food security in the world?” Nebenzya said. “We have justified suspicion that the grain does not go to aid the starving global South, but is being loaded in European states’ grain storages. As we understand, this is how Ukraine pays for weapons being shipped by the West.”