Russia-backed authorities in parts of southern Ukraine have said they will start selling grain abroad, especially to the Middle East, as part of a new trade agreement.
The planned deals include sales to Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The head of the Russian administration in the region, Yevgeny Palitsky, reportedly said there is a contract to supply 150,000 tons of grain to Iran.
Authorities in Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhia region, which is partly under Russian control, said they have now reached an agreement to ship the grain abroad, according to the state-run Moscow News Agency. tast mentioned.
Ukraine accused Russia of stealing its grain.
The war in Ukraine has severely disrupted Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea, and raised fears of a worldwide food crisis.
Before the invasion, grain was one of Ukraine’s major industries, with exports totaling £10.14 billion in 2021.
The country is struggling to export grain due to the fighting, with ports closed and the railway system unable to handle the increased volume.
Ukraine accuses Russia of confiscating grain from the territories occupied by the Russian army.
The deputy head of the Union of Ukrainian Agricultural Producers said that Russia had stolen about 600 thousand tons of food from the occupied Ukrainian lands.
Speaking last month, Denis Marchuk said: “To date, about 600,000 tons of agricultural companies have been stolen and transferred to the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and from there they move to the ports, in particular to Sevastopol, and from there, the ships go. Go. to the Middle East.”
It was reported in June that the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic had begun sending grain shipments to Russia by railways that had been “liberated” by its forces.
Yury Bronko, Minister of Agriculture of the Luhansk People’s Republic, said TASS news agency That first shipment was a “historic moment”.
“The first wagons of grain will go to Russia, 50 wagons, more than 3,000 tons,” he added.