Von der Leyen accused Russia of using food as a weapon

The head of the European Commission announced that Brussels is taking measures to ensure that grain enters the world market. The Russian authorities are blaming the potential food crisis on Western countries that have imposed sanctions against Moscow jpg” alt=”Von der Leyen accused Russia of using food as a weapon” />

Ursula von der Leyen

Moscow uses food as a weapon, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the World Economic Forum (WEF) ) in Davos. “Russia uses hunger and grain to gain influence,” — she said (excerpts from the speech were posted on her Twitter).

“The Antidote to Blackmail” von der Leyen called global cooperation in food supplies. According to the head of the EC, Europe is making efforts to get grain to world markets, increase its own production and provide food assistance to Africa.

Fears of a global food shortage began to sound after the start of the military operation in Ukraine: Moscow and Kyiv one of the largest grain suppliers in the world (16% and 10% of world wheat exports in the 2021/22 season, respectively). In addition, Ukraine— one of the leaders in the export of corn (14%).

Wheat prices have jumped to record levels since the outbreak of hostilities.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has accused Russia of aggravating the food crisis in Ukraine. About 20 million tons of grain remain unused on the territory of the country, he specified. The Russian Ministry of Defense has suspended the movement of foreign warships and other government ships in three areas of the Black Sea for six months.

On May 21, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio announced the danger of a “food war” in case of persisting problems with the supply of Ukrainian grain.

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The EU was talking about its readiness to help export grain from Ukraine.

The Russian authorities say that Western countries, which imposed sanctions against Moscow, are responsible for the crisis. According to Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya, Russia remains a responsible supplier of grain crops and can offer 25 million tons of grain for export through the port of Novorossiysk from August 1 until the end of the year.

The Wall Street Journal reported, that UN Secretary General António Guterres proposed easing restrictions on the export of Russian and Belarusian potash fertilizers in exchange for the passage of ships with grain from Ukrainian ports. The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that this issue is being discussed.

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