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Blinken accuses Russia of using hunger as a weapon of war in Ukraine

US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkenaccused this Thursday Russia of using hunger as a weapon of war against Ukraine and endangering other countries by blocking Ukrainian agricultural exports.

“The food supply of millions of Ukrainians and millions of others around the world is now literally held hostage by the Russian military,” denounced during a meeting of the UN Security Council.

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Blinken accused Moscow of repeatedly blocking the supply of food and other essentials to civilians trapped in besieged cities in order to “achieve what your invasion has not been able to: break the spirit of the Ukrainians”in addition to destroying food stores and stealing grain and other products.

He said, Russia is flagrantly violating the resolution of the Security Council itself that condemns this type of strategy and “It is the latest example of a government that uses the hunger of civilians to try to advance its objectives.”

At the same time, he recalled that the Ukrainians are not the only ones who are suffering the consequences of the war, as the conflict is driving up food prices and worsening the hunger crisis that was already beginning to be experienced in many countries.

Blinken, who yesterday already chaired a ministerial meeting on this matter, once again demanded that Russia to stop “blockade the ports of the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov” for what Ukraine can export the millions of tons of cereals that it has stored and that are key for many areas of Africa and the Middle East.

In addition, he accused Russia of threatening to curb its own food and fertilizer exports to countries that criticize its invasion.

In this sense, he insisted that the sanctions of the United States and its allies to Russia they are not impeding the sales of these products at all and said that his country works daily with its interlocutors to make it clear and that there is no fear of continuing with these imports.

“The decision to turn food into weapons is Moscow’s and Moscow’s alone”, he stressed.

In his response, the Russian ambassador to the UN, Vasili Nebenzia, practically denied Blinken’s accusations one by one.

Regarding the alleged blockade of the entry of food to cities such as Mariúpol, besieged for weeks, Nebenzia assured that there is “an enormous amount of evidence” that members of the Ukrainian Azov battalion were the ones who took the food and that the Russian army provided humanitarian aid.

The Russian representative also charged against the idea that the invasion of Ukraine is aggravating the hunger crisis, as the UN itself assures, to which it reminded that it has been talking about this problem for more than two years, long before the start of the war.

In fact, Nebenzia considered that the situation is the result of Western policies and regulations, which have caused problems in the supply chain, speculation in the food markets, increased transport and insurance costs and, in general, increased the inflation.

The ambassador also pointed out as part of that problem “the abrupt transition to green energy imposed on everyone” and sanctions against Russia, which while not directly targeting food or fertilizer exports, are holding back sales because buyers prefer to err on the side of caution, he said.

On the blockade of the Black Sea, Nebenzia assured that his country is trying to guarantee commercial traffic in the area and that it is Ukraine that has mined the waters and refuses to cooperate to allow the movement of ships.

In addition, he implied that Ukraine’s cereal exports to Europe through other routes, such as the railway, are intended to pay for the weapons that are being delivered to it and have nothing to do with the fight against hunger.

Source: Elcomercio

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