Germany Foreign Ministers G7
Annalena Baerbock, Foreign Minister of Germany, attends a press conference of the summit of foreign ministers of the G7 group of leading democratic economic powersin Weissenhaeuser Strand, Germany, Sarurday, May 14, 2022. The meeting under German presidency was chaired by Foreign Minister Baerbock. In addition to the United States and Germany, the G7 also includes Great Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Japan. (Marcus Brandt/dpa via AP)
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G7 warn of Ukraine grain crisis; ask China not to aid Russia

8 Comments
By FRANK JORDANS

The Group of Seven leading economies warned Saturday that the war in Ukraine is stoking a global food and energy crisis which threatens poor countries, and urgent measures are needed to unblock stores of grain that Russia is preventing from leaving Ukraine.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who hosted a meeting of top G7 diplomats, said the war had become a “global crisis.”

She said up to 50 million people, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, would face hunger in the coming months unless ways are found to release Ukrainian grain, which accounts for a sizeable share of the worldwide supply.

In statements released at the end of the three-day meeting on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast, the G7 pledged to provide further humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable.

“Russia’s war of aggression has generated one of the most severe food and energy crises in recent history which now threatens those most vulnerable across the globe,” the group said.

“We are determined to accelerate a coordinated multilateral response to preserve global food security and stand by our most vulnerable partners in this respect,” it added.

Canada's foreign minister, Melanie Joly, said her country, another major agricultural exporter, stands ready to send ships to European ports so Ukrainian grain can be brought to those in need.

“We need to make sure that these cereals are sent to the world,” she told reporters. “If not, millions of people will be facing famine.”

Russia dismissed the claim that it was responsible for worsening global hunger and driving up food prices.

“Prices are rising because of sanctions imposed by the West under pressure of the USA,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. “Failure to understand this is a sign either of stupidity or intentional misleading of the public.”

The G7 nations also called on China not to help Russia, including by undermining international sanctions or justifying Moscow's actions in Ukraine.

Beijing should support the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, and not "assist Russia in its war of aggression,” they said.

The G-7 urged China “to desist from engaging in information manipulation, disinformation and other means to legitimize Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”

The grouping, which comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, also reiterated its stance that the territories seized by Russian forces need to be returned to Ukraine.

“We will never recognize borders Russia has attempted to change by military aggression,” they said.

The meeting in Weissenhaus, northeast of Hamburg, was billed as an opportunity for officials to discuss the broader implications of the war for geopolitics, energy and food security, and ongoing international efforts to tackle climate change and the pandemic.

In a series of closing statements, the G-7 nations also addressed a wide range of global problems from the situation in Afghanistan to tensions in the Middle East.

On Friday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba appealed to friendly countries to provide more military support to Kyiv and increase the pressure on Russia, including by seizing its assets abroad to pay for rebuilding Ukraine.

Kuleba said his country remains willing to talk to Russia about unblocking grain supplies stuck in Ukraine's silos and also about reaching a political agreement to end the war itself, but had so far received “no positive feedback” from Moscow.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in an interview published Saturday that he had not detected any change in Putin's stance recently.

Scholz, who spoke at length by phone with the Russian leader Friday, told German news portal t-online that Putin had failed to achieve the military objectives he set out at the start of the war while losing more Russian soldiers than the Soviet Union did during its decade-long campaign in Afghanistan.

“Putin should slowly begin to understand that the only way out of this situation is through an agreement with Ukraine,” Scholz was quoted as saying.

One idea discussed at the G7 meeting was whether Russian state assets frozen abroad can be used to pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

“Russia bears responsibility for the massive damage resulting from this war,” Baerbock said. “And that's why it's a question of justice that Russia should have to pay for this damage.”

But she added that, unlike in Canada — where legislation allows for seized funds to be repurposed — the legal basis for doing so in Germany is uncertain.

“But that's precisely what such meetings are for, to have an exchange about how to resolve these legal questions,” Baerbock said.

Many of the foreign ministers traveled straight on to an informal meeting of NATO diplomats in Berlin on Saturday and Sunday.

That gathering will consider moves by Finland and Sweden to join the military alliance amid concerns about the threat from Russia, as well as ways in which NATO can support Ukraine without being drawn into the conflict.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was unable to attend the G7 meeting after recovering from a COVID-19 infection, was expected at the NATO gathering.

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8 Comments

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Russia had a bumper crop this year, record grain production.

Food is available at really affordable prices.

Oh wait, sanctions.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Not one grain of Ukraine grain is allowed in the US , because of radiation

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The little circus of the G7 telling the Great Red Dragon of the East what to do..

It reminds me of how the decadent Roman Empire asked the growing invincible power of the Eastern barbarians "please be kind with us"..

What a pathetic losers, hahahahaaa!!!..

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

A thread of very myopic views backed up with links to spurious YouTube channels. After all the conspiracy theories….Ukrainian an independent country has been invaded. That’s it! Everything else is outside domestic views opinions and external internal politics and ultimately do nothing to address the destruction wrought on people who’s only crime is living next door. Ukrainian didn’t bomb Russians or take their land. Ukrainian needs help that’s all, everything else is petty bickering by people who should know better.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

China’s response?

What’s in it for us?

quid pro quo

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What a bunch of Northern Hemi losers. Also they all seem to forget the reason Ukrain grain industrial is the biggest is because it is cheapest seller of grains also. So you have plenty growers in the market that will and can fill Ukrain lost growing season in the Southern Hemisphere. Since the start of this war local farmer ( Australia ) have sown a late crop of cannola knowing a bad year ahead for cooking oil due to Ukrain unable a sow this season sunflower crop. These G7 group can not be that misinformed. So I assume they are saying this to push up prices and there fore company margins.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The little circus of the G7 telling the Great Red Dragon of the East what to do..

It reminds me of how the decadent Roman Empire asked the growing invincible power of the Eastern barbarians "please be kind with us"..

In principle this is correct but the Romans fought the northern barbarians who ran away from the eastern barbarians. Well, that is the theory. No one knows why the Germanic tribes en-masse suddenly appeared at the north east boundary of the empire. They were running from something but what was it?

The only thing that is certain is that Europeans and their decedents in North America and Australia like to wax-lyrical about the Roman Empire's civilization and technology but the civilization and technology in China at the time was about 1000 years more advanced.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Putin the Cereal killer

0 ( +3 / -3 )

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