The Group of Leading Democratic Industrialized Nations (G7) has called on Russia to end the blockade on Ukrainian grain exports. This could only be a first step, according to a statement passed at a meeting of G7 foreign ministers near Weissenhäuser Strand in Schleswig-Holstein on Saturday. Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine has worsened the global economic outlook with soaring food, fuel and energy prices. Around 43 million people are just one step away from starvation.
There is a risk of food insecurity and malnutrition. This is having devastating consequences for some of the most vulnerable, the statement said. Rising costs would also make it harder for aid organizations to provide aid to those most in need. Together with international partners, it must be ensured that such a situation can never arise again.
25 million tons of grain blocked
Germany currently chairs the G7. In addition to the Federal Republic, the group includes the NATO states USA, Canada, France, Great Britain and Italy as well as Japan.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (41) said at the start of the G7 meeting that 25 million tons of grain were currently blocked in Ukrainian ports, especially in Odessa, because of the war. The grain is urgently needed in African countries and the Middle East. Ukraine is one of the most important grain suppliers worldwide. In 2021, according to figures from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, it was still the third largest exporter of barley and fifth largest exporter of wheat.
India introduces wheat export ban
On the same day, India announced that it would ban wheat exports with immediate effect. India is the second largest wheat producer in the world, behind China. The decision was taken in light of the sudden surge in global wheat prices, which is threatening India’s food security. India generally exports little wheat because most of it is needed for its own population. However, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently said that in view of a looming wheat shortage on the world market in the wake of the Ukraine war, he would help and export significantly more wheat. (SDA/vof)