Ukraine Govt Addresses Reports of Blocked Food Products to Kenya

  • Photo collage between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Russian President Vladimir Putin
    Photo collage between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Russian President Vladimir Putin
    Courtesy
  • The government of Ukraine says it has made steps to release food products destined to Kenya and that were being held at their ports owing to the ongoing conflict with their Russian neighbours.

    Through a statement dated Thursday, July 14, the Embassy of Ukraine in Nairobi explained that the release of goods followed a series of interventions staged by world leaders as the Russian invasion continues.

    Reports had indicated that the Ukrainian government was holding thousands of tonnes of food products destined for Kenya through the port of Mombasa, leading to the high cost of basic products such as wheat flour.

    Ukraine's ambassador to Kenya Andrii Pravednyk Addressing the media on Thursday February 24, 2022 in Nairobi
    Ukraine's ambassador to Kenya Andrii Pravednyk Addressing the media on Thursday, February 24, 2022, in Nairobi
    Ukraine Embassy

    "Today in the news there are many references to the meeting in Turkey regarding the unblocking of agricultural exports from our country through the Black Sea.

    "We are indeed making significant efforts to restore the supply of food to the world market. And I am grateful to the United Nations and Turkey for their respective efforts. The success of this story is needed not only by our state, but also, without exaggeration, by the whole world," the Ukrainian Embassy in Nairobi stated.

    The Embassy added that it was willing to solve the food crisis in Kenya and other nations if Russia's threat to navigation is eliminated.

    The statement follows media reports indicating that goods worth Ksh15 billion heading to Kenya have been lying at the Ukrainian ports.

    The reports were corroborated by data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) that indicated a sharp decline in foodstuff supply since Moscow invaded Ukraine, with imports from Russia to the country dropping 66 per cent from Ksh19.9 billion to Ksh6.6 billion.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta, during the Labour Day celebrations on May 1, attributed the sharp rice in prices of essential commodities to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

    However, Russia maintained that the crisis was caused by the US and European Union after they imposed sanctions on Moscow. 

    More than 1,000 Russian individuals and businesses have been sanctioned and purchase of Russian oil restricted.

    The sanctions have affected fuel prices in the country, with Energy Petroleum Authority (EPRA) depending on government subsidies to cushion Kenyans from spiked pump prices.

    To address the high cost of living, the government rolled out mitigation measures including subsidies on some basic commodities.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration expressed concern over the rise in retail prices of commodities such as maize and wheat flour, bread, cooking oils, potatoes, fuel prices, public transport fares, cooking gas and kerosene.

    Among the measures put in place to address the crisis include the removal of import duty and levies on maize, introducing of subsidies on fertilisers and seeking alternative wheat markets.

    However, fuel prices are set to rise further when EPRA reviews pump charges after the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yatani, stated that it was unsustainable to continue with the subsidies.

    Government Cyrus Oguna speaking during the a road safety awareness campaign along Mombasa Road on Friday February 25, 2022
    Government Cyrus Oguna speaking during a road safety awareness campaign along Mombasa Road on Friday, February 25, 2022
    Government Spokesperson
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