UK dismisses Putin assertion on Ukraine grain exports to poor countries

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok

(Reuters) - Britain dismissed as untrue on Sunday Russian President Vladimir Putin's assertion that only a fraction of grain exported from Ukraine under an international deal was going to poor countries.

Putin said on Wednesday, without citing a source, that only two of 87 ships, carrying 60,000 tonnes of products, had gone to poor countries. The deal to allow grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, took effect last month.

Quoting U.N. figures, the British Defence Ministry said that around 30% of grains exported under the deal has been supplied to low and middle-income countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Russia is pursuing a deliberate misinformation strategy as it seeks to deflect blame for food insecurity issues, discredit Ukraine and minimize opposition to its invasion, the ministry said in its daily intelligence bulletin on Twitter.

(Reporting by Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru; Editing by Frances Kerry)