MOSCOW, May 28. /TASS/. Washington provokes food crisis on the territory of Ukraine, depriving it of grain reserves, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday.
"US President Joe Biden's statement on May 10 about the need to look for opportunities to export 20 mln tonnes of grain from Ukraine coincided with the signing of the Lend-Lease law for Ukraine. Turns out, Kiev will pay for weapons with wheat. In fact, the US itself provokes food crisis in Ukraine, depriving it of grain reserves," the diplomat said, commenting on the situation with food security amid statements by official representatives of foreign states about the alleged "blocking" of the Black Sea.
She stressed that the US and the EU voiced intentions to export 20 mln tonnes of grain from Ukraine within 2.5 months, allegedly for their transportation to African and Middle Eastern countries in order to prevent a food crisis. "However, in reality, grain is transported to warehouses in Europe. Rail, road, and river routes are organized for its delivery to destinations in Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, and Bulgaria," she added.
"The West’s attempts to pin all troubles on a special military operation and accuse Russia of blocking foreign ships in the ports of the Black and Azov Seas are absolutely groundless," she continued. "Prices for agricultural products surged back in 2020, which is by no means the result of the special military operation. The pandemic has caused major disruptions to supply chains and significantly increased the price of food transportation services," Zakharova said.
According to the diplomat, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization experts have repeatedly noted that prices reached record-breaking figures before February 2022.
She emphasized, the anti-Russian sanctions of the West, which led to ruptured ties in the global logistics and transport infrastructure, became the "main catalyst" of the existing negative trends.