Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that a “significant part” of agricultural products exported from the country’s seaports is for the poorest and most needy nations. He made the remarks after Russian President Vladimir Putin said that “almost all” the Ukrainian grain is being exported to EU nations instead of poor and developing countries. Terming Putin’s statement “false”, Zelenskyy said that the first cargo exported from Ukraine was delivered to Ethiopia and stressed that “hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians are actually saved from starvation.”

“Russia voiced another blatantly false statement that the absolute majority of Ukrainian grain is allegedly exported to European countries. Well, words of truth have not been heard at the official level in Russia for a long time, and this does not surprise anyone,” Zelenskyy said in his remarks.

In his nightly video address on 7 September, Zelenskyy further said, “By the end of this month, at least 3 million tons of agricultural products can be exported from our seaports. And a significant part is for the poorest and most needy countries. In particular, the first cargo was delivered to Ethiopia.” According to statement released by Ukraine President’s office, Zelenskyy underscored that 54 vessels were sent to Asia and 16 vessels were transported to Africa.

Ukraine does not make ‘racist division of the world’: Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy informed that 32 vessels were exported to Europe and insisted that a part of this volume will be further sent to Asian and African nations. The embattled President said that Ukraine does not make a “racist division of the world” and supports all the nations. Notably, the export of Ukrainian grain resumed after the United Nations, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey agreed to the Black Sea Grain initiative in July. Zelenskyy also informed about receiving “good news from the Kharkiv region” and added, “now is not the time to name the settlements to which the Ukrainian flag returns.”

“Unlike Russia, we do not make a racist division of the world into those who deserve security and those who supposedly do not, into those who deserve to live without famine and those who supposedly do not,” he said.

Putin says ‘almost all’ Ukrainian grain sent to EU nations

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that “almost all” the Ukrainian grain is being exported to the EU nations and not to the poorest and developing countries. In his address at the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum on 7 September, Putin stressed that the approach will increase the food problems in the world and warned it could result in an “unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.” He stated that he was considering limiting the export of grain and will discuss the issue with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to the statement issued on the Kremlin’s website. Citing UN World Food Programme data, the Russian President underscored that only 60,000 tons of food out of two million tons were sent to most needy nations.

“If we exclude Turkey as an intermediary country, then almost all grain exported from Ukraine is sent not to the developing and poorest countries, but to the EU countries,” Putin said at the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum.

Image: AP