The United States has accused Russia of holding the world’s food supply hostage amid growing fears of famine in developing countries, as a former Russian president warned that the Kremlin would not release vital grain shipments without an end to western sanctions, writes The Guardian.
Speaking at a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday, US secretary of state Antony Blinken demanded that Russia lift its blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports and enable the flow of food and fertiliser around the world.
“The Russian government seems to think that using food as a weapon will help accomplish what its invasion has not – to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people”, he said at the meeting called by the Biden administration.
“The food supply for millions of Ukrainians and millions more around the world has quite literally been held hostage by the Russian military”, he added.
Blinken called on Russia to “stop threatening to withhold food and fertiliser exports from countries that criticise your war of aggression”.
Russia and Ukraine produce 30% of the global wheat supply and 69% of the world’s sunflower oil.