US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during a plenary session at a meeting of G-20 representatives, where Russian diplomats were also present, accused the Russian authorities of aggravating the food crisis, Bloomberg reports .
Blinken said that "Ukraine does not belong to Russia" and also called on the Russian authorities to end the blockade of Ukrainian ports and allow the country to freely export grain in order to reduce its shortage. This, among other things, led to a food crisis, due to which raw material prices soared, from which developing economies suffered, he recalled.
During Blinken's speech, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was not in the hall - he left the room at the first session at the speech of German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock and at the second session before the speech of Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
US officials stressed that negotiations with Russia would be pointless until Moscow showed its interest in a diplomatic settlement of the military conflict in Ukraine.
Shortly after the start of the war in Ukraine, a food crisis began in the world that could last for years, WTO head Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala warned . Ukraine is one of the main world exporters of wheat. The country, which is called the "bread basket of Europe", accounts for 9% of its supply. In addition, Ukraine ranks first in the world in the export of sunflower oil (46% of global exports) and first in the supply of sunflower meal (54% of global exports), which is used for livestock feed.
The war led to a giant jump in world food prices. In total, they can grow by 20%, according to the forecast of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
At the same time, Russia has been repeatedly accused not only of blocking ports in Ukraine, but also of stealing Ukrainian grain, which is exported to the Crimea, the BBC Russian Service wrote . Ukraine also accused Russia of supplying stolen grain to Syria. The Russian authorities at the same time claim that they do not export grain from Ukrainian territories.