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Russian president Vladimir Putin has vowed to revise the terms of a United Nations (UN)-brokered Ukrainian grain export deal, Reuters reported on 7 September.

Speaking at an economic forum in the city of Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East, Putin was quoted by Reuters as saying that in the deal – brokered by the UN and Turkey – Ukrainian grain exports were not going to the world’s poorest countries as originally intended.

“What we see is a brazen deception ... a deception by the international community of our partners in Africa, and other countries that are in dire need of food. It’s just a scam,” Putin was quoted as saying.

In his strongest comments on the topic since the deal was agreed in July, Putin warned of a global food crisis if the situation was not addressed and said he would contact Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan to discuss amending the deal to restrict which countries can receive shipments, according to the report.

“It is obvious that with this approach, the scale of food problems in the world will only increase ... which can lead to an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe,” he added.

Without citing a source, Putin was quoted as saying that out of 87 ships leaving Ukraine, only two had delivered agricultural products to poor countries.

“Almost all the grain exported from Ukraine is sent not to the poorest developing countries, but to European Union (EU) countries,” Putin was reported as saying at the economic forum on 7 September.

According to UN data, Turkey, which is not part of the EU, has been the most frequent single destination for shipments from Ukraine, with deliveries also going to China, Djibouti, Egypt, India, Somalia and Yemen.

Putin was quoted as saying that Russia would carry on with the deal in the hope that its aims would still be achieved.

Ukraine’s agriculture ministry said on 7 September that it was not aware of any formal steps taken by Russia to amend the terms of the deal, which remained the only significant diplomatic breakthrough in the six-month conflict, Reuters wrote.

Putin also said some restrictions on Russia’s fertiliser exports had been eased, but “clever sanctions” were still complicating Russian trade, according to the report.

Moscow said it had been promised the removal of some logistical sanctions which it claimed were disrupting its own exports of agricultural products and fertilisers, in exchange for easing the military blockade on Ukraine’s southern ports, the report said.

“There are no direct sanctions against products, but there are restrictions related to logistics, freight, payments and insurance. Many of these elements of restrictions remain,” Putin was quoted as saying.

The grain deal aimed to avert a global food crisis by guaranteeing the safe passage of ships in and out of Ukrainian ports, allowing them to export tens of millions of tonnes of grain, Reuters wrote.