“Russia’s war against Ukraine will add another 40 or 50 million more people to the ranks of the hungry,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday.
Speaking at a joint news conference with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Blinken said, “There is no reason other than Russia’s blockade of Ukraine and Russia’s refusal in many cases to export its own grain for political reasons.”
“I would like to highlight that in contrast to what Russia says, it is not the sanctions (that) are responsible” for the crisis, he said.
“Food security is a global good that must not be utilised as a tool for political means,” he added.
To counter Russia’s “cynical”, potentially destabilising grains war and the corresponding propaganda, all international partners need to working together according to Baerbock.
Accusing Russia of taking the world hostage with its “grain war”, Baerbock said Moscow is “deliberately causing food prices to explode … in order to destabilise entire countries”.
Grain deliveries across the Black Sea have been stalled by minefields and a Russian military blockade of Ukrainian ports as a result of Russia’s invasion of top agricultural exporter Ukraine.
Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, food prices have soared and contributed to the global spike in inflation.
Because of their heavy dependence on Russian and Ukrainian wheat, poorer African countries are the most affected as per the United Nations.
Beleaguered British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged an additional 372 million pounds ($456 million) in aid by for the countries worst affected by rising global food prices, including 130 million pounds for the World Food Programme this financial year.