Home International News Russia's invasion of Ukraine puts world at risk of famine, EU warns

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine puts world at risk of famine, EU warns

Russia is starving the world through its blockade of Ukraine’s grain shipments and restrictions on its own exports, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said on Saturday.

Threats to food security and a “narrative battle” with Russia over Western-imposed sanctions on Moscow against Ukraine will dominate talks by European Union foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday.

“We are ready to work with the UN and our partners to prevent unwanted impacts on global food security,” Borrell said in an article published on his official blog.

“Russia’s conscious political choice is to ‘arm’” grain exports and “use it as a blackmail tool against anyone who opposes its aggression” in Ukraine, Borrell said.

“Russia turned the Black Sea into a war zone, blocking grain and fertilizer supplies from Ukraine, but also affecting Russian merchant shipping. Russia also applies quotas and taxes on its grain exports,” he added.

The sanctions imposed by the EU “do not prohibit Russia from exporting agricultural goods, paying for such Russian exports or providing seeds, provided that sanctioned persons or entities are not involved”.

“We are fully aware that there is a ‘war of stories’ surrounding this issue” of sanctions, Borrell continued.

He added that it is imperative that Ukrainian exports by ship resume.

“We are working closely with the UN on this point and the EU and its member states are ready to take their share of the necessary measures to achieve this.

“We hope that a solution can be found in the coming days. If you don’t do this, there is a risk of a global food catastrophe,” he warned.

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