Tue | May 17, 2022

G7 warn of Ukraine grain crisis

Published:Saturday | May 14, 2022 | 4:26 PM
A worker holds a handful of wheat at the Modern Mills of Lebanon, in Beirut, Lebanon, April 12, 2022.(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

WEISSENHAUS, Germany (AP) — The Group of Seven leading economies warned Saturday that the war in Ukraine is stoking a global food and energy crisis which threatens poor countries.

The group said that urgent measures are needed to unblock stores of grain that Russia is preventing from leaving Ukraine.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who hosted a meeting of top G-7 diplomats, said the war had become a “global crisis.”

She said up to 50 million people, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, would face hunger in the coming months unless ways are found to release Ukrainian grain, which accounts for a sizeable share of the worldwide supply.

In statements released at the end of the three-day meeting on Germany's Baltic Sea coast, the G-7 pledged to provide further humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable.

“Russia's war of aggression has generated one of the most severe food and energy crises in recent history which now threatens those most vulnerable across the globe,” the group said.

“We are determined to accelerate a coordinated multilateral response to preserve global food security and stand by our most vulnerable partners in this respect,” it added.

Canada's foreign minister, Melanie Joly, said her country, another major agricultural exporter, stands ready to send ships to European ports so Ukrainian grain can be brought to those in need.

Russia dismissed the claim that it was responsible for worsening global hunger and driving up food prices.

“Prices are rising because of sanctions imposed by the West under pressure of the USA,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. “Failure to understand this is a sign either of stupidity or intentional misleading of the public.”

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