The G7 agriculture ministers and their Ukrainian counterpart today sought solutions to address food insecurity and the fact that, according to Kyiv, “everyone is paying the price” for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“We discussed how we can help save most of the crop,” with exports that could be made by land, by rail or across the Danube, German Agriculture Minister Cem Ezdemir told a news conference. Ukrainian Minister Mykola Solski in Stuttgart.
The Russian invasion and blockade of Ukrainian ports resulted in a drastic reduction in exports to this large agricultural country. “It’s Vladimir Putin’s strategy to use hunger as a weapon of war, in Ukraine and beyond,” Ezdemir added.
«Ukrainians have already experienced it in the past, in the Soviet Union (…) during the Holodomor“, He added, referring to the great famine in Ukraine in 1932-33, which resulted in the death of millions of people.
Some African countries are heavily dependent on Ukrainian exports. Prior to the war, Ukraine was the fourth largest exporter of corn in the world and was expected to become the third largest exporter of wheat.
About 20 million tonnes of food will have to be exported from the country’s silos in the next three months, before the next harvest, Solski explained at this G7 theme meeting. “We are facing a difficult situation,” he said, noting that food insecurity and rising food prices are a consequence of a war that is affecting “the whole world”.
Ezdemir called the theft of grain from Ukraine “hateful”, something for which Russian forces are accused.
The European Commission has presented a plan which it hopes will help Ukraine export its products.