A Ukrainian journalist confronted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday at a press conference in Ankara, Turkey, asking him about grain exports trapped in Ukraine.
The press conference was coming to an end when Muslim Umerov – who had repeatedly been ignored when trying to ask a question – stood up and addressed Lavrov directly.
“I am from Ukrainian public television, I absolutely want to ask a question,” he said. “Apart from cereals, what other goods did you steal from Ukraine and who did you sell them to?”
Lavrov replied: “You Ukrainians are always worried about what you can steal and you think everyone thinks that way. Our goals there are clear, we want to save people from the pressure of the neo-Nazi regime.
“We are not obstructing the grain. In order for it to leave the ports, Mr Zelensky must give the order, that’s all.”
Contacted later by AFP, Umerov, who is based in Istanbul, explained that he had raised his hand throughout the session but realised that the organisers “would not let me speak”.
“I took the risk of disrupting the news conference because all of Ukraine is waiting for the answer to this question,” he said.