World Leaders Accuse Russia of Using Ukraine’s Food Supply as a Weapon

Courtesy of the New York Times, an article on global leaders’ accusations that Russia is using Ukraine’s food supply as a weapon:

Fears of a global food crisis are swelling as a Russian blockade of Ukrainian seaports and attacks on its grain warehouses have choked off one of the world’s breadbaskets, deepening fears that President Vladimir V. Putin is using food as a powerful new weapon in his three-month-old war.

World leaders called for international action to deliver 20 million tons of grain trapped in Ukraine. Some warned that unless the port of Odesa is opened soon, there is a threat of famine in some countries and political unrest in others, in what could be the gravest global repercussion yet of Russia’s assault on its neighbor.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, accused Russian troops of confiscating Ukrainian grain stocks and agricultural machinery, Russian artillery of bombarding grain warehouses, and warships in the Black Sea of trapping Ukrainian cargo vessels laden with wheat and sunflower seeds.

“On top of this, Russia is now hoarding its own food exports as a form of blackmail, holding back supplies to increase global prices, or trading wheat in exchange for political support,” Ms. von der Leyen said to an annual gathering of political and business leaders in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

The European Union, she said, was working to open alternative routes for shipments overland, linking Ukraine’s borders to European ports. But with the West reluctant to risk a direct military confrontation with Russia and the world’s food distribution network already creaky because of pandemic-related supply disruptions, freeing up Ukraine’s food exports will be difficult and dangerous.

Among the proposals circulating, according to several news reports, was one from a Lithuanian government official in which a flotilla of ships, escorted by vessels from non-NATO countries, would try to break the Russian naval blockade off Odesa and escort Ukrainian cargo ships. Countries most affected by food shortages, like Egypt, would supply the escort ships.

At the World Economic Forum, where worries about the war’s ripple effects have already eclipsed almost every other global issue, political leaders and food security experts reached for apocalyptic language to describe the threat.

“It’s a perfect storm within a perfect storm,” said David Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Program, a United Nations agency. “If we don’t get the port of Odesa open, it will compound our problems.” Calling the situation “absolutely critical,” he warned, “We will have famines around the world.”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 24th, 2022 at 1:39 pm and is filed under Uncategorized.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

Comments are closed.

About This Blog And Its Author
Seeds Of A Revolution is committed to defining the disruptive geopolitics of the global Farms Race.  Due to the convergence of a growing world population, increased water scarcity, and a decrease in arable land & nutrient-rich soil, a spike of international investment interest in agricultural is inevitable and apt to bring a heretofore domestic industry into a truly global realm.  Whether this transition involves global land leases or acquisitions, the fundamental need for food & the protectionist feelings this need can give rise to is highly likely to cause such transactions to move quickly into the geopolitical realm.  It is this disruptive change, and the potential for a global farms race, that Seeds Of A Revolution tracks, analyzes, and forecasts.

Educated at Yale University (Bachelor of Arts - History) and Harvard (Master in Public Policy - International Development), Monty Simus has long held a keen interest in natural resource policy and the geopolitical implications of anticipated stresses in the areas of freshwater scarcity, biodiversity reserves & parks, and farm land.  Monty has lived, worked, and traveled in more than forty countries spanning Africa, China, western Europe, the Middle East, South America, and Southeast & Central Asia, and his personal interests comprise economic development, policy, investment, technology, natural resources, and the environment, with a particular focus on globalization’s impact upon these subject areas.  Monty writes about freshwater scarcity issues at and frontier investment markets at