Russian President Vladimir Putin's blockade of Ukrainian ports is crippling the world's food production, as crops stocked in shipping containers remain unmoved.
The crops, which will rot if not transported out of the ports soon, count as the daily bread for many of the world's poorer nations.
According to The Telegraph, Ala Stoyanova, deputy governor of the Ukrainian city of Odesa, believes Putin is using the blockade to threaten world famine — the likely outcome of which would bring about a refugee crisis in some sub-Saharan African countries that depend on the crops for sustenance.
"It is his aim, I think, to make these poor countries starve from hunger without this grain," she said. "When he blocks our ports, by this means he is blackmailing the world."
"You already have a refugee crisis in Europe with people fleeing there from this war in Ukraine," she continued. "You may now get a refugee crisis from hunger in third countries too."
The warnings from the deputy governor were echoed by Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey.
Speaking about a Russian blockade triggering a world famine, Bailey said, "That is a major worry, and it is not just a major worry for this country, it is a major worry for the developing world as well. Sorry for being apocalyptic, but that is a major concern."
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