May 14, 2022 15:49 GMT
For her part, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zajárova, linked the increase in food prices with the anti-Russian sanctions imposed by “the collective West under pressure from the US.”
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Saturday accused Russia of waging a “grain war”, while warning that the world may face global famine due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
“We must not be naive. […] There is a threat of brutal famineBaerbock said at a press conference after meeting with his counterparts from the rest of the G7 countries at Weissenhaus, in the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein.
In parallel, the senior official maintained that Russia is “extending” the conflict in Ukraine to a global crisis, referring to kyiv’s complaints that Moscow had blocked its ports on the Black Sea, which prevents the export of wheat and other crops. . According to estimatedthe lives of up to 50 million people in Africa and the Middle East they are threatened by the risk of famine and many could die in the coming months.
“In the Ukrainian port of Odessa, 25 million tons of grain are currently blocked. This means food for million people in the worldwhich are urgently needed especially in African countries and the Middle East,” he claimed Baerbock.
In their joint statement, the diplomatic chiefs of the G7 nations urged Russia to cease what they called “the blocking of exports of cereals” from Ukraine and underlined that some 43 million people in the world are one step away from famine.
Moscow blames the West
The Russian foreign spokeswoman, Maria Zajárova, commented Baerbock’s words, pointing out that the current rise in food prices in the world is actually related to sanctions against Russia imposed by “the collective West under pressure from the US”.
This Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that Moscow’s actions “do not influence in any way the food problems in the world” and that the difficulties with supplies arose from “the imposition by the West of illegitimate sanctions”; situation that is complicated by the mining of the ports by Ukraine. The minister denounced that kyiv rejects a collaboration to solve the situation with the blocked ships.
Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin he pointed that Western sanctions against Russia “largely cause” a global crisis. Furthermore, he underlined that the poorest countries of the planet already face the threat of famine. The president stressed that “the blame for this falls entirely on the elites of Western countries.”
For its part, the UN has repeatedly stated that the fighting in Ukraine may have serious humanitarian repercussions in the world, including famine. The international organization has already directed several humanitarian aid packages to combat hunger in Africa and the Middle East in the face of the conflict in Ukraine.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UNOAA) estimated in one of its reports published on April 8 that wheat exports by Russia and Ukraine represented 30% of the global market in 2021.
This index is manifested in the fact that nearly 50 countries are at least 30% dependent of Russian and Ukrainian wheat supplies. Of these, 26 nations meet more than 50% of their needs for this cereal with shipments from both countries.