MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. A New York Times article alleging that Russia has blocked Ukrainian ports is not true, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
"The article alleges that the Russian Armed Forces have blocked the Ukrainian ports from where a significant part of wheat, barley, corn and sunflower oil is exported to global markets (though the author fails to cite any statistics). The real situation on the ground, as well as confirmed data, makes it clear that the New York Times is simply lying," the statement reads.
The ministry rejected as groundless the allegation that Moscow had initiated a food blockade because "the Black Sea ports, beaches and waters were mined by the Ukrainian Armed Forces."
The ministry also said that Russia was being accused of preventing the export of 20 mln tonnes of Ukrainian grain but according to publicly available information, Kiev was only ready to export 5-6 tonnes, which amounted just 0.5% of the global wheat production, estimated at 800 mln tonnes.
The Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized that "the collective West" sought to use media outlets "to diminish Russia’s contribution to resolving the situation" "though it is through Russia’s efforts, supported by Turkey and the United Nations, that crucial documents on the maritime export of Ukrainian grain were signed in Istanbul.".