The Russian foreign ministry said there was not a single ship with Ukrainian grain reaching starving African or Asian countries.
Russia's Foreign Ministry has expressed doubts about the sincerity of Western countries global food security concerns, noting that grain-loaded ships from Ukrainian Black Sea ports are mostly going to the West, rather than to starving African or Asian countries.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Ivan Nechaev, the deputy director of the ministry's information and press department, said that so far not a single ship with grain has reached the shores of the starving countries of Africa or South Asia. They go mainly to Western ports, and the range of exported goods is mainly not wheat, but corn grain and sunflower oil, which casts doubt on the sincerity of these voices in the West, which depend on the grain deal Nechaev said, which allowed the resumption of grain exports from Ukrainian ports.
Prior to the deal, Kiev and its Western supporters accused Moscow of deliberately preventing the food shipments and in this way threatening global food security. Moscow repeatedly denied those claims, saying that Ukraine had made the shipments impossible by laying naval mines in the waterways around the ports.
The foreign ministry spokesman said the situation was impacted by the Sierra Leone-flagged freighter Razoni, which sailed from Odessa on August 1 with 26,000 metric tons of chicken feed destined for Lebanon. The ship was turned back from Beirut on Monday after the Lebanese buyer refused to accept the shipment, on the grounds that it was several months too late.
As it turned out, there was not the wheat on board that the Lebanese needed, but corn, fodder corn, Nechaev said.
Since the Istanbul deal took effect on August 1, none of the ten ships that have left the Ukrainian ports were bound for Yemen, Somalia or other countries facing catastrophic levels of hunger, according to the outlet. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told his counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana on Monday that Ukraine was committed to remaining a reliable food exporter. The deal includes agreements not only on the export of grain from the Ukrainian ports, but also on the normalization of Russian food exports to the world market, as stated by Nechaev, which states that Russia is committed to its obligations and is looking forward to effective fulfillment of the Istanbul deal.
Nechaev said that the Western countries will create the necessary conditions for access to Russian fertilizers and food to the global markets, while the implementation of one part of the deal has been ongoing for a week and a half now.