Ukraine‘s President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of “deliberately delaying” the export of grain from Ukrainian ports bound for countries in Africa and Asia.
“Today more than 150 ships are in a queue to fulfill contractual obligations for the supply of our agricultural products,” Zelensky said in a video address.
“This is an artificial queue. It arose only because Russia is deliberately delaying the passage of ships.”
He did not specify what was causing the queues but said Algeria, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia were among the countries affected by these delays.
He said “due to the Russian slowdown,” Ukraine has under-exported “about three million tons of food.”
In late July, Turkey and the United Nations brokered a landmark deal with Moscow and Kyiv that designated three Black Sea ports for Ukraine to send much-needed grain supplies through a Russian blockade.
But Russia has criticized the deal, complaining its own exports had suffered and claiming, without evidence, that most deliveries were arriving in Europe, not in poor countries where grain was needed most.