Exchange of remarks between Bogdan Aurescu and Russia’s representative at the UN, after accusations that the EU receives grain in exchange for weapons

Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu described Russia’s claims that “Ukraine sells grain to the West in exchange for weapons” as “gross manipulation of reality.”

Aurescu made the statement at the UN on Thursday, after Russia’s permanent representative, Vasili Nebenzia, claimed that he suspected that Ukrainian grain was “pumped into the barns of European countries in exchange for Western-supplied weapons.”

“We have reasonable suspicions that the grain is not going to the needs of the global South, which is going through famine, but is being pumped into the barns of European countries. From what we understand, Ukraine is paying for the weapons provided by the West “, the Russian representative claimed.

“As we understand it, Ukraine pays for arms deliveries from the West in this way. Something has happened in the history of Ukraine. In February 1918, according to a Central Rada agreement, Austrian and German troops entered Ukrainian territory, claiming to be defending it from Soviet Russia. Instead, Kyiv has pledged to deliver food to Berlin and Vienna. As a result, 37,000 supply wagons were exported. I would be grateful to my Western colleagues, first and foremost the European Union and the United States, if they could comment on these gun grain agreements, which many experts are talking about,” Nebenzia further said.

Romanian FM Bogdan Aurescu retorted that Russia’s allegations are false.

“In connection with Russia’s accusations that I have just heard in this House that there is a so-called ‘agreement’ between the West and Ukraine for the supply of grain in exchange for arms, let me remind you that this is not the first time Russia makes such completely false allegations. For example, on May 1, the Russian Ministry of Defense stated that Ukraine was massively exporting grain through Romania in exchange for weapons and ammunition. The Romanian Ministry of Defense quickly rejected these statements as gross and false manipulations of reality”, said Bogdan Aurescu.

In his turn, the European Representative to the UN, Olaf Skoog, described the Russian diplomat’s statements as misinformation: a long list of misinformation. ”

The United States and Russia have accused each other at the UN on Thursday of aggravating the food situation around the world, with Washington urging Moscow to allow exports of blocked Ukrainian grain to ports on the Black Sea.

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