The FINANCIAL — KIEV. Despite low harvest, Ukraine is ready to render food aid to Georgia and Armenia, who were affected by Russia's grain export ban, the country's prime minister said, according to RIA Novosti.
Georgia imports 85% of all consumed grain, with 95% coming from Russia. Armenia also traditionally imports 300,000-400,000 metric tons of grain from Russia annually, with its own harvest usually enough to last for 2.5-3 months.
"Despite this year's harvest being lower than last year, we have enough [grain] not only for ourselves but also for helping Georgia, Armenia and other countries that sought our assistance," Mykola Azarov was quoted as saying by his press service.
Ukraine's agriculture ministry has again revised its grain harvest forecast from 42-43 million metric tons to 38 million metric tons. The figure stood at 46-48 million metric tons early this year.
The Kremlin banned grain exports until at least the end of the year following this summer's severe drought and forest fires that destroyed around 10.8 million hectares of crops and reduced harvest forecasts to as low as 60 million tons, 38 percent less that in 2009.
The ban has caused a steady rise in grain prices in Russia and around the world.