Comment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on Russia’s attempts to sell stolen Ukrainian grain from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine on the international market.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine strongly condemns the Russian Federation’s actions in disposing of grain that was illegally seized from Ukrainian farmers. Russian occupants are stealing Ukrainian grain and either consuming it themselves or attempting to sell it on international markets.
The plunder of food supplies from the territory of an independent sovereign state is one of the aspects of looting.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine warned consumer countries that grain consignments exported by Russia could contain stolen grain obtained as a result of Russian occupation authorities’ plundering. Any country that knowingly purchases stolen grain is considered to be complicit in the crime.
The occupants have already seized at least 400-500 thousand tons of grain worth more than 100 million dollars, according to the Ukrainian government. Almost all grain-laden ships departing from Sevastopol transport stolen Ukrainian commodities.
Numerous testimonies from the Ukrainian farmers and documentary evidence show Russia’s theft of Ukrainian grain:
· Order of the so-called «Berdyansk City Hall» No 10-n dated 07.05.2022 on the seizure of private-owned wheat and barley.
· Press release dated 27.04.2022 from the Legislative Assembly of the Russian Federation’s Krasnoyarsk Territory No 379 (13593) on the decision of the Committee on Rural Affairs and Agricultural Policy to expropriate crops from farmers in the temporarily occupied Kherson region. In the document, the committee’s chairman, Vladislav Zyryanov, also stated that the Russian authorities intend to extend this approach to other parts of Ukraine.
· Proposals of the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia to postpone for a year the implementation of the federal state information system for tracing the provenance of grain and grain products. The introduction of FDIS «Grain,» developed by the Russian «Center for Agroanalytics,» was intended to establish control over the use of food resources in Russia, but due to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, the system became unsuitable for Russia due to the need to account for illegally exported grain from the Ukraine’s territory.
The criminal seizure, export and consumption of Ukrainian is another example of Russia’s destructive acts, which, in particular, contravene the fundamental principles of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – achieving food security for all and overcoming hunger. The aggressor state’s policy puts into doubt the relevance of its participation in FAO and other international organizations.
We demand that Russia stop illicit grain stealing, unblock Ukrainian ports, restore freedom of navigation, and allow trade ships to pass. We urge the international community to strengthen economic sanctions against Russia in order to stop its military aggression against Ukraine, to avert a humanitarian disaster and the world’s food security crisis.