The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry categorically condemns Russia's actions in disposing of grain that was illegally seized from Ukrainian farmers in temporarily captured territories.
The ministry said this in a comment posted on its website, Ukrinform reports.
"Russian occupiers are stealing Ukrainian grain and either consuming it themselves or attempting to sell it on international markets. The plunder of food supplies from the territory of an independent sovereign state is one of the aspects of looting," the ministry said.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry warned consumer countries that grain consignments exported by Russia could contain stolen grain obtained as a result of Russian occupation authorities' plundering.
"Any country that knowingly purchases stolen grain is considered to be complicit in the crime," the statement said.
The ministry stressed that numerous testimonies from Ukrainian farmers and documentary evidence show Russia's theft of Ukrainian grain.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry emphasized that the criminal seizure, export and consumption of Ukrainian is another example of Russia's destructive acts, which, in particular, contravene the fundamental principles of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization – achieving food security for all and overcoming hunger. The aggressor state's policy puts into doubt the relevance of its participation in FAO and other international organizations, the statement said.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry demanded that Russia stop stealing grain, unblock Ukrainian ports, restore freedom of navigation, and allow trade ships to pass.
The ministry also called on the international community to strengthen economic sanctions in order to stop Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine, prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and the worsening of the food security situation in the world.
According to the Ukrainian Agriculture Ministry, the occupiers have already seized at least 400,000-500,000 tonnes of grain worth more than $100 million. Almost all grain-laden ships departing from Sevastopol transport stolen Ukrainian commodities.