Russia weaponizing food supplies: European Commission

AP , Tuesday 24 May 2022

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday accused Russia of deliberately bombarding grain warehouses across Ukraine and weaponizing food supplies.

File Photo: A wheat warehouse belonging to Ivan Kilgan, head of the regional agricultural association village, in Luky village, western Ukraine, Friday, March 25, 2022. AP


Russia's invasion of Ukraine has provoked disruptions of global food supplies, and the blockade of Ukrainian ports has been particularly harmful.

Ukraine accounted for 90% of grain and oilseed exports before the war, according to the EU.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the head of the EU's executive arm said about 20 million tons of wheat are currently stuck in Ukraine.

``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,'' she said. ``This is using hunger and grain to wield power.''

Von der Leyen said that fragile countries and vulnerable populations suffer the most. She said bread prices in Lebanon increased by 70%, and food shipments from Odesa have been blocked from reaching Somalia.

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