Pro-Russian authorities, which control part of Ukraine’s Zaporizhia region, said on Saturday they were exporting up to 7,000 tons of grain a day.
Ukraine accuses Russia of stealing grain produced on its territory since the invasion began on February 24 and is attempting to export it as Russian grain, which Moscow denies. However, the head of the pro-Russian authorities of Zaporizhia, Yevgeny Balitsky, said on social networks on Saturday that up to 5,000 tons of grain per day are exported by rail and between 1,500 and 2,000 tons by road, without specifying the destination. He promised that volume would soon surge via the Russian army-controlled Ukrainian port of Berdyansk on the Azov Sea coast. “We will start loading cargo ships going to Turkey. Farmers can sell their production in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Middle East and Egypt – the usual markets,” said Yevgeni Balitski. Portal could not verify these claims. In July, Balitski said he had deals with Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia to export grain produced in the Russian-controlled part of the region, which totaled 1.5 million tons that year.