Baerbock: the G7 wants to break the blockade of Ukrainian grain exports
The meeting under the German presidency begins this Thursday at the Schlossgut Weissenhaus in Schleswig-Holstein. According to the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, the three-day consultations will focus on “Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and its effects, for example on energy and food security”. In addition to Kuleba, Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu will also be present as a guest on Friday.
The G7 group wants to ensure that Ukraine can remain a major grain exporter despite Russia’s war of aggression. Baerbock said they are jointly discussing how to break the grain blockade imposed by Russia and bring Ukrainian grain to the world. Currently, 25 million tons of grain are blocked in Ukrainian ports, especially in Odessa, because of the war.
EU warns of dangerous situation
The grain is urgently needed in African countries and the Middle East, Baerbock said. A food crisis is brewing in the sky, which will be exacerbated by the global climate impact. Ukraine is one of the largest grain suppliers in the world. In 2021, according to figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, it was still the third exporter of barley and the fifth exporter of wheat.
Shortly before Baerbock, the European Commission had already warned of a dangerous situation. “20 million tonnes of grain must leave Ukraine in less than three months,” European Transport Commissioner Adina Valean said in Brussels. The grain threatens to block deposits that would be needed for future harvests. Ukraine is currently unable to export as it used to because of the Black Sea ports blocked by Russia. The European Commission therefore now wants to facilitate transport by land – that is, by road and rail.
In addition to Germany, the G7 group includes the United States, Great Britain, France, Canada, Italy and Japan. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken unlikely to attend meeting in person due to corona infection; According to his ministry, he will be represented by Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. Due to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the G7 countries agreed last week to phase out Russian oil imports and reaffirmed their solidarity with the government in kyiv.