G7 warn of Ukraine grain crisis, ask China not to aid Russia

G7 warn of Ukraine grain crisis, ask China not to aid Russia
Ukraine's city hall is seen damaged in Russian offensive. [Representational image] File/ GK

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

Baerbock 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 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.

We need to make sure that these cereals are sent to the world, she told reporters. If not, millions of people will be facing famine. AP

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