Russian troops planted mines in Ukraine’s fields to ruin harvest: Sajjan

OTTAWA – Harjit Sajjan, the international development minister, says Russia has planted mines in Ukrainian fields to prevent farmers from cultivating their crops.

Speaking after a meeting of G7 development ministers in Berlin, Sajjan says Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told them Russian troops were mining fields to ruin the harvest and stealing Ukraine’s food stores.

Heather McPherson, NDP international development critic, says Canada, which has expertise in demining, should be helping to make Ukraine’s fields safe for farmers so they can plant and harvest their crops.

Sajjan says getting Ukrainian wheat to developing countries relying on it as a staple food is crucial to stave off hunger and future conflict.

He says Canada is working on how to get food to developing countries deprived of Ukrainian grain and, if not enough wheat is available, is looking into sending stores of other food including potatoes and carrots.

Sajjan warns that Russia is spreading disinformation in the developing world that blames the West for higher food prices to increase Putin’s sphere of influence.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 19, 2022.

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