G7: Ukraine minister fears great losses in country’s wheat harvest

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Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Solsky has voiced his fears of “great losses” in the year’s wheat harvest during talks with his G7 counterparts in the German city of Stuttgart on Friday.

Russia’s war on Ukraine has prompted fears of global food shortages, as the country is one of the world’s most important producers of wheat as well as a major supplier of corn.

“The situation with corn is a bit better,” Solsky noted, before appealing to G7 ministers for support in exporting Ukraine’s grain, with Russia blockading the country’s ports.

The war has led to a massive surge in grain prices, with the impact being felt in developing countries in particular.

German Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir accused Russia of using hunger as a weapon by blocking Ukrainian wheat exports, in comments to German public radio on Friday.

Putin’s warfare was “particularly perfidious,” Özdemir argued, as Ukraine is so important to the global food chain, noting that half the wheat used in World Food Programme aid alone came from the country.

The shortage and resulting price increase were a deliberate military strategy, the minister argued.

An overall 25 million tons of grain are currently stuck in Ukrainian ports, mainly Odessa, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Thursday.

Germany currently holds the presidency of the G7, which also includes the United States, Canada, France, Britain, Italy and Japan. Ukraine has been invited to attend this year’s meetings.

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