Assertions by Russian President Vladimir Putin that only a fraction of grain exported from Ukraine was going to poor countries are untrue, the British Defense Ministry says.
Without providing proof, Putin said on September 7 that only two of 87 ships, carrying 60,000 metric tons of products, had gone to poor countries.
The deal to allow grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, took effect last month.
Quoting UN figures, the British Defense Ministry said in its daily intelligence bulletin on Twitter on September 11 that around 30 percent of grains exported under the deal has been supplied to low and middle-income countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
The ministry accused Russia of pursuing a deliberate misinformation strategy to deflect blame for food-insecurity issues, discredit Ukraine, and minimize opposition to its invasion.
In related news, France’s transport minister said on September 11 he would sign an agreement with Romania to increase Ukrainian grain exports to developing countries including to the Mediterranean.
“Tomorrow, I will sign an accord with Romania that will allow Ukraine to get even more grains out…toward Europe and developing countries, notably in the Mediterranean (countries) which need it for food,” Clement Beaune told LCI television, adding that the deal covered exports by land, sea, and river.
Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.