Ukraine’s president says tonnes of grain from his country will arrive in the coming weeks in Somalia, where famine approaches and the global crises of food security and climate change put millions at risk.
President Volodymyr Zelensky’s comment came as Russian President Vladimir Putin accuses the West of sending most of the grain from Ukraine’s reopened ports to Europe instead of poorer and hungrier parts of the world.
Speaking at an economic forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday, Putin accused the West of colonialism and suggested that Russia may talk with Turkey about revising the deal that lifted Russia’s blockade on Ukrainian ports and allowed ships safe passage.
“With the exclusion of Turkey as a mediator, practically all the grain exported from Ukraine was sent to the (European Union) nations instead of the poorest countries,” Putin said.
“It’s obvious that with an approach like that, the magnitude of the food problem in the world will keep growing, and that could lead to an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe,” he added. “Maybe it’s worth thinking about restricting the exports of grain and other products on that route? I will certainly discuss the issue with the president of Turkey.”
The Russian president said of 87 ships loaded with grain from Ukraine, just two carried grain for the UN World Food Programme – 60,000 tonnes out of the total of about two million tonnes.
- An AP report