BRUSSELS (Parliament Politics Magazine) – After the Russian invasion of Ukraine was blamed for causing a food crisis throughout the world by the European Council president, Russia’s UN representative stormed out of a UN Security Council meeting.
Food supplies were used as a “stealth missile” by Russia against the developing world, according to Charles Michel, driving people into poverty.
Mr Michel was accused of propagating misinformation by Russian envoy Vassily Nebenzia.
Food has been left stuck at Ukrainian ports as a result of the war.
Ukraine exports a lot of cooking oil and cereals like wheat and maize. Russia also exports a large quantity of fertiliser and grain. Because of the unavailability of these exports, the cost of alternatives has skyrocketed.
“Let’s be honest, Mr. Ambassador of the Russian Federation, the Kremlin is using food supplies as a stealth missile against developing countries,” Mr Michel said during a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York.
The severe implications of Russia’s war were reverberating around the world, driving up food prices and pushing up inflation, he added.
Because of the Russian military activity in Ukraine, Mr Michel also laid an accusation that the Russians were stealing grain and hindering crop planting and harvesting.
Mr Nebenzia stormed out as a result of his remarks. “You may leave the room,” Mr Michel said as he walked away. Perhaps it was easier not to listen to the truth. People were being pushed into poverty, and entire regions were being destabilised.
Mr Nebenzia told Reuters that he couldn’t stay since Charles Michel had come there to spread lies.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, in a separate meeting, that Russia was stopping Ukrainian grain shipments from going out of the country and accused Russian soldiers of destroying agricultural infrastructure in Ukraine.
There was somewhere around 20 million tonnes of wheat stuck in silos near Odessa, and in ships literally filled with grain that were stuck in the Odessa port because of this Russian blockade, Mr Blinken said during a virtual roundtable with philanthropists, non-governmental organisations, and private sector entities.
He agreed with Mr Michel that there were plausible claims about Russia “pilfering” Ukrainian grain to sell for profit.