KYIV, June 8 (Reuters) - Russia has stolen about 600,000 tonnes of grain from occupied Ukrainian territory and exported some of it, the deputy head of Ukrainian agriculture producers union UAC said on Wednesday. Ukraine will demand Russia compensate for both the theft of the grain and the destruction of the property of farmers, UAC deputy head Denys Marchuk told Ukrainian television. “To date, about 600,000 tonnes have been stolen from agricultural companies and taken to the temporarily occupied territory of the Crimean Peninsula and from there it moves to ports, in particular to Sevastopol, and from there, ships go to the Middle East,” Marchuk said.
He added that about 100,000 tonnes of grain had already been trans-shipped in Syria, according to evidence “recorded by the USA”. He provided no additional detail. Reuters was not able to verify the claims.
Ukraine is one of the world’s largest grain exporters, and Western countries have accused Russia of creating the risk of global famine by shutting Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
Moscow denies responsibility for the international food crisis, blaming Western sanctions. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely)