“The food supply of millions of Ukrainians and millions of other people around the world is now literally held hostage by the Russian military,” President Joe Biden’s government secretary told a UN Security Council meeting.
Blinken accused Moscow of repeatedly blocking the supply of food and other essentials to civilians trapped in besieged cities to “achieve what its invasion failed to do: break the spirit of the Ukrainians”, in addition to destroying food stores and stealing cereals and other products.
According to the US Secretary of State, Russia is flagrantly violating the Security Council’s own resolution that condemns this type of strategy and “is the latest example of a government that uses the hunger of civilians to try to advance its objectives”.
At the same time, he recalled that the Ukrainians are not the only ones who suffer the consequences of the war, as the conflict is increasing food prices and aggravating the hunger crisis that was already beginning to be experienced in many countries.
Blinken, who yesterday presided over a ministerial meeting on the matter, demanded once again that Russia stop “blocking the ports of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov” so that Ukraine can export the millions of tons of grain that it stored and that are critical to many parts of Africa and the Middle East.
In addition, it accused Russia of threatening to restrict its own exports of food and fertilizers to countries that criticize its invasion.
In this sense, it reiterated that the sanctions imposed by the United States and his allies with Russia do not in any way prevent the sale of these products and he said that his country works daily with its interlocutors to make this clear and that there is no fear of continuing with these imports. “The decision to turn food into weapons is Moscow’s and Moscow’s alone”, he emphasized.
In his response, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya denied Blinken’s accusations. On the alleged blockade of food in cities such as Mariupol, besieged for weeks, Nebenzya assured that there is “an enormous amount of evidence” that it was members of the Ukrainian battalion, Azov, who took the food and that the Russian army provided aid. humanitarian.
The Russian representative also rejected the idea that the invasion of Ukraine is aggravating the hunger crisis, as the UN itself guarantees, claiming that it has been talking about this problem for more than two years, long before the beginning of the war.
8014186603001Nebenzya considered that the situation is a result of Western policies and regulations, which caused problems in the supply chain, speculation in food markets, rising costs transport and insurance and, in general, high inflation.
The Russian ambassador also highlighted as part of this problem “the abrupt transition to green energy imposed on the whole world” and sanctions against Russia, which, despite not directly attacking exports of food or fertilizers, slow sales because buyers prefer to act with an excess of caution.
8014186603001On the blockade of the Black Sea, Nebenzya assured that his country is trying to guarantee commercial traffic in the area and that it is Ukraine that has been undermining the waters and refuses to cooperate to allow the movement of ships.
Furthermore, he implied that cereal exports from Ukraine to Europe by other means, such as rail, are intended to pay for the arms delivered to him and have nothing to do with the fight against hunger.8014186603001