Russian Blockade of Grain Exports is ‘A Real War Crime’ 

Russia is committing a war crime by blocking the exportation of million of tonnes of Ukrainian grain. The European Union’s foreign policy chief said today that Russia’s actions in blocking the wheat supply coming out of Ukraine are a war crime. 

Today EU foreign ministers met to discuss ways to free up the crop amid a global food crisis that is worsening. 

Ukraine is one of the biggest wheat suppliers in the world. Its wheat shipments, however, have stalled, and more than 20 million tonnes of grain have now been trapped in silos. 

The wheat has been trapped since Russia invaded Ukraine in February and subsequently blocked its ports, making it impossible to export the viral need. 

Russia says it is not responsible for the food crisis and instead blames it on Western sanctions that have been imposed on Moscow. Russia says these sanctions have led to a jump in global food prices. But leaders in other nations say Russia is absolutely responsible for blocking the wheat out of Ukraine, which is a war crime. 

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called on Russia to stop the blockade and open up the Black Sea routes crucial for exporting any larger quantity of Ukrainian grain.

Borrell said that millions of tonnes of wheat are blocked in Ukraine while people in the rest of the world suffer from hunger. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier this month that the responsibility was on Ukraine to solve issues with grain shipments by de-mining the approaches to its Black Sea ports. He said that Moscow needed to take no action because it had already made the necessary commitments.

The EU is supporting efforts made by the United Nations to broker a deal in order to resume the sea exports out of Ukraine in return for facilitating Russia’s food and fertilizer exports. But Moscow is needed to approve of this deal. 

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