G7 condemns Russia for using food as ‘coercion tool’ in war

Tokyo, Apr 23 (EFE).- The agriculture ministers of G7 countries on Sunday condemned the use of food for destabilization and as a tool of “coercion” by Russia as part of its war in Ukraine, while pledging more support for Kyiv.

“We condemn Russia’s attempts to use food as a means of destabilisation and as tool of geopolitical coercion and reiterate our commitment to acting in solidarity and supporting those most affected by Russia’s weaponisation of food,” said the joint declaration issued by the G7 at the end of a two-day meeting in the Japanese city of Miyazaki (southwest), also attended by the European Union representative.

The agriculture ministers of Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan the United Kingdom and the EU delegate expressed their “deep concern” over the devastating impact that the war was having on global food security, especially through the sudden surge in prices of cereals, fuel and fertilizer.

The statement said that this was having a disproportionate effect on the most vulnerable populations.

The group also expressed support for initiatives launched by the EU, Ukraine and Turkey to establish channels of grain export from the war-affected nation – one of the largest grain producers in the world – and backed the “extension, full implementation and expansion” of the deal to export Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea.

The G7 said it was committed to supporting the people worst affected by the “militarisation of food” by Russia through measures ensuring access to food and fertilizers.

The bloc also reaffirmed its commitment to help the reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine by sharing their agricultural expertise and knowledge, apart from contributing to rebuilding infrastructure and helping Ukrainian farmers’ access finance and seeds through international bodes.

In the same declaration, the ministers called for diversifying agricultural supply chains and adopting environment-friendly practices to establish resilient and sustainable systems of agriculture.

They said that the supply chain problems witnessed during the pandemic, rising costs and worsening access to key material such as fertilizers had highlighted the need to adopt a wider perspective of food systems.

As the world population keeps growing, along with reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, there was a need to reverse the loss of biodiversity as part of adapting to and mitigating climate change effects, the declaration stressed.

Strengthening compliance with international treaties on climate and biodiversity and measures such as organic agriculture, managing pests without relying solely on chemicals, use of technology and more effective irrigation systems were mentioned as some of the key ways to ensure sustainability. EFE


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