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

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.

Solsky said that Russia’s war on Ukraine had prompted fears of global food shortages.

According to him, the country is one of the world’s most important producers of wheat as well as a major supplier of corn but now facing low production due to war.

“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 had led to a massive surge in grain prices, with the impact being felt in developing countries in particular.

German Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir also 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 was so important to the global food chain.

He noted 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 tonnes of grain were stuck in Ukrainian ports, mainly Odesa, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had said.

Germany currently holds the presidency of the G7, which also included the United States, Canada, France, Britain, Italy and Japan.

Ukraine had been invited to attend this year’s meetings. 

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