Davos Update: EU Accuses Russia of Using Food Supplies as Weapon

European Commission President von der Leyen said Russia is using food supplies as a weapon to intimidate the West, just as it did with energy. In her speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, she further stated that the only way to resist Russia’s blackmail is international cooperation.

“Russia is confiscating grain stocks and machinery in places they occupy in Ukraine and Russian warships in the Black Sea are blockading ships that deliver wheat and sunflower seeds to the world”, von der Leyen added.

The EU has been working on alternative routes to help Ukraine export its grains. The bloc’s agriculture policy chief Wojciechowski on Tuesday said the idea had received full support from EU countries’ agriculture ministers at a meeting in Brussels.

Wojciechowski thanked the neighboring countries for doing what they can during the news conference after the meeting. He added that the EU countries bordering Ukraine have been working to make grain exports possible but facing infrastructural challenges such as railways.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent Western sanctions to isolate Moscow have pushed prices of grains, cooking oil, fertilizer and energy up.

Kremlin, on the other hand, said it was the West who was responsible for the global food crisis by imposing sanctions on Russia.

The European Commission said food supplies in the bloc is not at risk thanks to its own production, but the fall in Ukraine’s exports of wheat, maize, oil and rapeseed would still hit food and animal feed prices in the EU.

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