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Tags: famine | food crisis | volodymyr zelenskyy | russia | invasion | ukraine | black sea

Zelenskyy to Newsmax: World Faces 'Famine' If We Don't Extend Defenses


By    |   Tuesday, 31 May 2022 08:28 PM EDT

The world will be facing a food crisis, if not "famine," if Ukraine does not receive longer-range weapons that can extend the fight against Russia's invasion on the coast of the Black Sea, Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Newsmax.

"Currently, 22.5 millions tons of grain are blocked by Russia," Zelenskyy told host Rob Schmitt in an exclusive sitdown interview in the capital city of Kyiv on Tuesday. "In order to de-block this territory with an exit to the sea, with an exit to water, with an exit to our people, we need to fight and we need to have weapons with effective range as far as 120-140 kilometers."

The southern ports, blocked by Vladimir Putin's invading Russian forces, are keeping vital shipments of gain, barley, and other exports from leaving Ukraine, Zelenskyy told Schmitt.

"In order to de-block the occupied south of our Ukraine, in order to de-occupy the east end territories as well as to de-occupy the ports of Ukraine that were occupied by the enemies, and [then] through those ports we could be exporting millions tons of grain," he said.

"Otherwise, we might face a food crisis."

The long-range weapons will not only allow Ukraine's forces to penetrate Russia's front lines in the south – something "absolutely impossible" without, according to Zelenskyy – but it would provide security to the Ukrainian people.

"This is something that is absolutely impossible, and that is why we've requested from the European Union, from the European countries, from the United States, from the president directly from the White House, we've requested to have those weapons," Zelenskyy said, to help his country's people who "don't have access to water, food, and other supplies.

"And we cannot reach them physically."

Zelenskyy vowed the longer-range weapons are only for use in Ukraine and not to attack Russia on their land, as Russia has on Ukraine's, Zelenskyy made clear.

"I know some of the people in the United States are saying, or people in the White House are saying we might be using them to attack Russia: Look, we're not planning to attack Russia," he said. "We're not interested in the Russian Federation. We're not fighting on their territory.

"We have the war on our territory. They came to our country. We want to de-block our cities. For that purpose, we need ammo that can reach as far as 100 kilometers."

Russia's control of the Black Sea is only amplified its front lines blocking Ukraine to the southern ports, Zelenskyy added.

"Mariupol has been ruined completely, and Odesa has been currently blocked – it's not occupied but it's blocked from the sea – and that is why we cannot exit from the seaports of Odesa," he said. "And despite any international treaties everything is in control by the Russian Black Sea fleet.

"We cannot move the ships from our ports to have them carry the grain, barley, sunflower seeds and many other aspects."

The world food shortages might not be apparent yet due to Russia's blockages in the south of Ukraine, but ultimately the world is going to see potentially devastating affects, according to Zelenskyy.

"This is only beginning," he said. "At this moment, we have a deficit in 40 countries that they will face significant challenges. We're talking about millions and millions of people who are facing the risk of famine. And Russia is not allowing anyone to go inside the Black Sea. We cannot see any exporters, any ships of a single country that could come up and take the grain out of us."

Zelenskyy said it is not just about receiving aid from other countries in order to beat back Putin's aggression. The world is going to face a price, too.

"It's not the issue of money only, because it's dozens of millions of dollars we could receive for the exporting of the grain but we already have a significant deficit of our budget like at $5 billion U.S. dollars at least per month," he said.

"The question is not about money. We're ready to give the grain and receive the money later on. We want to not have a crisis in the world and Russia is blocking all that."

Zelenskyy praised the willingness of the American people in supporting Ukraine with money and lethal aid.

"I believe what's most important is the assistance of the people of the United States," he concluded. "They're paying the taxes and the money being allocated to support Ukraine comes from taxes, and it's all about the humanitarian financial military support to Ukraine. So I'm grateful to the current president of the United States as well as both of the political parties that support us."


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Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The world will be facing a food crisis, if not "famine," if Ukraine does not receive longer-range weapons that can extend the fight against Russia's invasion on the coast of the Black Sea, Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Newsmax.
famine, food crisis, volodymyr zelenskyy, russia, invasion, ukraine, black sea, long-range weapons
Tuesday, 31 May 2022 08:28 PM
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