Conflicts & War

‘Shameful’ Russia causing global food crisis: Von der Leyen

Davos, Switzerland, May 24 (EFE).- Russia is using “hunger and grain” as a weapon of war as the world heads towards a global food crisis, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday.

“Russian artillery is bombarding grain warehouses across Ukraine – deliberately. And Russian warships in the Black Sea are blockading Ukrainian ships full of wheat and sunflower seeds,” she said in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Von der Leyen said that Russia’s “shameful acts” were impacting global wheat prices to skyrocket.

Ukraine has 20 million tons of grain blocked on its territory and its exports have fallen from 5 million tons a month before the war to between 200,000 and 1 million tons, according to the EC president.

“And on top of this, Russia is now hoarding its own food exports as a form of blackmail – holding back supplies to increase global prices, or trading wheat in exchange for political support. This is using hunger and grain to wield power,” she said.

Von der Leyen said the signs of a food crisis were “obvious” and that the world had to act “urgently”.

“Our answer is and must be to mobilize greater collaboration and support at the European and global level,” she said.

“But there are also solutions, today and on the horizon.” EFE


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