Ukraine Tells Nigeria, African Countries to be Careful Buying Russia's 'stolen' grain as war enters 120 days
- Ukraine's government has asked Nigeria and other African countries to be careful about buying grains from Russia as it claims most are stolen.
- It's been 42 days since the Russia, Ukraine war began and Africa has been severely hit due to heavy dependence on food imports from Russia, Ukraine
- Since the start of the war, Ukraine has only been able to export 1.5 million to 2 million tons of grain a month, down from more than 6 million tons
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Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, has urged Nigeria and African countries to be careful about buying grains from Russia.
According to Kuleba most of the grains sold by Russia are Ukrainian grain which he said were stolen from occupied territories in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine.
He made this plea during an online briefing to African journalists on Thursday attended by Legit.ng.
Kuleba’s briefing is coming at a time Nigeria is suffering heavily from an increase in the price of wheat.
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Speaking to journalists, Ukraine's Foreign Minister also denied claims that his country is withholding grains to get more sanctions for Russia.
"Ukraine normally provided 10% of the world’s wheat, 14% of its corn and 47% of its sunflower oil. In Africa, 44% of Libya’s wheat, 42% of Tunisia’s wheat, 26% of Egypt’s wheat, 26% of Ethiopia’s wheat and 15% of Morocco’s wheat came from Ukraine. Just over a quarter of Ukraine’s food exports were to Africa.
“And trust me, we have no intention of shooting ourselves in the foot by withholding the export of our agricultural products to the global market. We want to export our agricultural products to you as badly as you want to receive them"
He also noted that the blocking of his main port by Russia is making it difficult to trade.
“Ninety percent of that was exported from ports in the Black Sea and Azov Sea. Now, Russia was blocking 57 commercial vessels loaded with agricultural produce in the Black Sea and much more produce stored in the ports.”
Africa buying Russian grains
Furthermore, in its presentation, Kuleba revealed that Ukraine exported between five and six million tonnes of agricultural produce monthly but this has changed since the start of the war on 24 February 2022.
Kuleba also added that Moscow was worried its friendly relations with many African nations might now be jeopardised by the food crisis it had caused.
“What we expect from other countries are two things, Do not buy stolen Ukrainian grain. And respect the fact that we were always reliable suppliers for you. Help us to solve the existing problem and we will continue trading with you on good terms.
“We clearly see a strategy of the Russian Federation to replace Ukraine on our traditional markets. We clearly see ships, vessels, taking stolen Ukrainian grain to countries like Syria or to Russia and then being exported further without a clear indication of where this grain comes from.”
EU ban on Russian Oil: Data shows it brings more challenges for Nigerians
In another story, Legit.ng reported that the European Union has decided to place a ban on Russian oil after months of negotiation and delays
The ban is expected to increase oil prices as the 27 countries which reach the agreement will have to look for alternatives
Nigeria is one of the top producers of oil but data shows the coming weeks could bring more pains than gain