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ForMin Aurescu: Russia's accusations of grain shipments from Ukraine, completely false

May 26, 2022

Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu described as "completely false" Russia's accusations at the UN that the West would exchange "grain for weapons" with Ukraine.The Romanian chief diplomat had an intervention on Thursday in New York, in the Security Council of the United Nations, at the debate "Maintaining peace and international security - conflict and food security". In this context, he replied to the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya."Mr. President, on Russia's allegations that we have just heard in this hall, that there is a so-called "deal" between the West and Ukraine to deliver weapons for grain, let me recall that it is not for the first time that Russia is issuing such totally false accusations. For instance, on May 1st, the Russian Defense Ministry stated that Ukraine was massively exporting grain through Romanian roads, rail and on the Danube, in exchange of weapons and ammunitions. The Romanian Ministry of Defense dismissed promptly this statements as false and gross manipulations of reality," Bogdan Aurescu said.Nebenzya had previously spoken at the debate about a so-called exchange between the West and Ukraine."In this context, the cause that we've seen from Western officials to increase the exports from Ukraine, honestly, they give rise to some bewilderment from our part. It's clear that the situation with hunger in Ukraine should be bracketed. This is something that the Kiev authorities should think about, but there's another logical question, which is that where do these deliveries go and what relation do they have to food insecurity in the world? Once again, I'd like to ask David Beasley have the humanitarian deliveries of Ukrainian grain through the World Food line taking place this year since February? As far as we know, they haven't, but grain, if you believe the statements of Western politicians and data from the media are being carried out of Ukraine actively using railway and using barges on the Danube. But where is this grain going? We have reason to suspect that this grain is not being used to feed the hungry in the global South, but it's being stored in grain storages of different European countries. Thus, as we understand it, Ukraine is paying for deliveries of Western weapons in this way," the Russian diplomat said.He added that a precedent exists in this sense from 1918 and demanded the officials to comment "on this version about grain for weapons, which many experts are talking about. If they could publicly reject that claim and also if they could, at the same time, explain how these deliveries help to anchor the global food security."In his turn, the ambassador of the European Union to the United Nations, Olof Skoog, reacted to the Russian side's statement."What we heard today from Russia about some kind of grain-for-weapons scheme by the West is another element to a long list of disinformation," said Skoog.

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