There is a "threat of famine" on a worldwide scale due to Russia's blockade of Ukrainian ports, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned, The Hill reported.
"Due to the fact that Russia has blocked our ports in the Black Sea and seized our part of the coast of the Sea of Azov, we cannot export 22 million tons of grain that are already in warehouses in our country," Zelenskyy said on Monday. "This is the volume that was to enter the foreign market."
He insisted that "Russia's blockade of our exports is destabilizing the situation on a global scale. As a result, food is becoming increasingly expensive in different countries, [creating] a threat of famine. In Africa, in Asia, in some European countries."
The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization already said last month that the war was mostly responsible for a 17.1% increase in the price of wheat, barley, corn, and other grains, Yahoo reported.
The Ukrainian president also accused Moscow of having "already stolen at least half a million tons of grain and are now looking for ways to illegally sell it somewhere. To sell it in a way to make money on what was stolen and to keep the deficit in the legal market," The Hill reported.
Zelenskyy said, "This is what the Russian leadership clearly wants. They are deliberately creating this problem. So that the whole of Europe faces difficulties. And so that Ukraine does not receive billions of dollars for its exports."
He said that European governments should place new sanctions on Moscow, particularly on oil.
"I believe that Europe will have to give up Russian oil and oil products in any case," he said. "Because this is about the independence of Europeans themselves from Russian energy weapons."
The European Union on Monday banned imports of Russian oil that comes in tankers, but permits EU members who get oil via pipelines from Russia to continue to buy it.
Brian Freeman ✉
Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.
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