“The world on the brink of a terrible food crisis”, warned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, while addressing the Time100 Gala event late on Wednesday, saying that millions of people could starve because of Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
The Ukrainian president was featured in the category of TIME’s list of 100 most influential people. The list also included Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Exports from Russia and Ukraine have been impacted severely due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Both countries are major wheat suppliers. Impact on the supply chain threatened a global food crisis. Sanctions imposed on Russia also impeded the export of grain and fertiliser.
Meanwhile, in a televised statement Zelensky said that Ukraine was unable to export wheat, corn, oil and other products and added: “Millions of people may starve if the Russian blockade of the Black Sea continues.”
“The Russian fleet – not British or any other fleet – blocked Ukraine’s Black Sea ports in a way that the world is on the verge of a terrible food crisis. It is not just a price crisis,” he added.
Further, Zelensky on Thursday called for Russia to be expelled from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. It blamed Moscow for spurring the global grain crisis by invading his country.
Zelensky said during an OECD meeting, “There can’t be any discussion on prolonging Russia’s membership in the FAO. What is there for Russia to do if they are causing hunger for at least 400 million, or potentially more than a billion people?”