Sunday, March 26, 2023

Putin threatens to restrict Ukrainian grain exports for European countries, accusing them of acting ‘like colonial powers’

In remarks throughout his opening speech on the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Putin cited figures that don’t precisely mirror present UN knowledge on grain shipments, and mentioned he would talk about amending the deal to restrict the export of grain and different foodstuffs to European international locations.

“Only 3% of the grain being exported from Ukraine is going to developing countries, the majority is going to Europe… over the past decades European countries have acted like colonial powers, they are continuing to act like that today,” Putin claimed erroneously.

“Once again, they have deceived developing countries,” he mentioned, including that “it may be worth considering how to limit the export of grain and other food along this route.”

“I will certainly consult on this subject with the President of Turkey, Mr. Erdogan, because it was him and me who worked out a mechanism for the export of Ukrainian grain,” he mentioned.

In an announcement to CNN, the United Nations mentioned that underneath the Black Sea Grain Initiative, roughly 30% of “grains and other foodstuffs” have made it to low- and lower-middle-income international locations, or roughly 700,000 metric tons.

Among international locations categorized by the World Bank as low- or lower-middle-income, the UN says that 10% of the initiative’s exports have been despatched to Egypt, 5% to Iran, 4% to India, 3% to Sudan, 2% to Yemen, 2% to Kenya, 1% to Somalia, 1% to Djibouti, and fewer than 1% to Lebanon.

Among international locations categorized by the World Bank as upper-middle- or high-income, the UN says that 20% of the initiative’s exports have been despatched to Turkey, 15% to Spain, 7% to China, 7% to Italy, 6% to South Korea, 5% to The Netherlands, 4% to Romania, 3% to Germany, 2% to Israel, 1% to Ireland, 1% to France, and fewer than 1% to Greece and Bulgaria. The assertion mentioned that foodstuffs despatched to Turkey might have been shipped onward to different international locations in Asia and Africa.

Russian President Vladimir Putin made the erroneous claims during a plenary session at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, on September 7.
Putin’s remarks had been in line with Kremlin talking points across the looming world meals shortages which have been brought on largely by Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports. Russian diplomats in latest months have labored energetically to deflect criticism of Moscow by suggesting that Western sanctions, moderately than Russia’s actions, are in charge for the disaster.

According to knowledge from The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), a few of the world’s most weak international locations are among the many ones most reliant on imports from Ukraine. Lebanon, Tunisia, Somalia and Libya all relied on Ukraine for a minimum of half of their wheat imports. Eritrea sourced 47% of its wheat imports from Ukraine and the remaining 53% from Russia.

But the Russian invasion has affected Ukraine’s entire food production and supply chain, from sowing to harvesting to exports, with the United Nations warning that as much as 49 million folks might be pushed into famine or famine-like circumstances because of the conflict’s devastating impression on world meals provide and costs.

“It is clear that with this approach, the scale of the world’s food problems will only grow — which is capable of leading to an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe,” Putin claimed, including that he would talk about the problem with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who aided the deal.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative — which was brokered by the UN and Turkey — was signed by representatives from Russia and Ukraine in July.

Its goal is to facilitate the resumption of significant exports out of Ukraine to alleviate world meals shortages and rising grain commodity costs.

Prior to the deal some 20 million metric tons of Ukrainian wheat and corn had remained trapped within the port of Odesa as a result of a Russian blockade.

Putin downplays Russian losses

In his speech to open the Plenary Session, Putin claimed Russia has “lost nothing” in its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

“We have lost nothing and are not going to lose anything. Our main gain is the strengthening of our sovereignty. We didn’t start anything, in terms of military action, but are only trying to finish it,” Putin instructed the viewers.

The US believes that Russia is going through “severe” shortages of navy personnel in Ukraine and is in search of new methods to strengthen its troop ranges, two US officers instructed CNN final week.

Meanwhile British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace mentioned in an announcement Monday that it’s now estimated that “over 25,000 Russian soldiers have lost their lives” for the reason that begin of the conflict.

In late August, Putin ordered Russia’s navy to extend the variety of troops in Ukraine by 137,000, although it stays unclear how the Defense Ministry intends to succeed in that focus on.

CNN’s Ivana Kottasov√° and Josh Pennington contributed reporting.

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