LONDON – Britain is providing technology to ensure that any wheat stolen from Ukraine by Russia does not make it to the global market, Britain’s environment minister George Eustice said on Monday.
Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine and blockade of its Black Sea ports has prevented the country, traditionally one of the world’s top food producers, from exporting much of the more than 20 million tonnes of grain stored in its silos.
Last week Turkey said it was investigating claims that Ukrainian grain had been stolen by Russia and shipped to countries including Turkey, but added the probes had not found any stolen shipments so far.
Russia has previously denied allegations that it has stolen Ukrainian grain.
“Russia, it appears, are stealing some wheat from those stores,” Eustice, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, told Sky News.
“What the UK government is doing is making available the technology that we’ve got to be able to test the provenance of wheat. We’re working with other countries including Australia on this so that we can ensure that stolen Ukrainian wheat does not find a route to market.”
Eustice said Britain was also looking at what it could do to help Ukraine repair its railways to get the wheat out of Ukraine via land.