The Group of Seven major economies warned on Saturday that the war in Ukraine is fueling a global food and energy crisis that threatens poor countries and urgent measures are needed to unlock grain reserves that Russia is preventing from leaving Ukraine.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who hosted a meeting of senior G-7 diplomats, said the war had turned into a “global crisis”.
“Up to 50 million people, especially in African and Middle Eastern countries, will die in the coming months,” she warned, unless ways are found to liberate Ukrainian wheat, which accounts for a significant portion of worldwide supplies. the world.
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In statements issued at the end of the three-day meeting on the German shore of the Baltic Sea, the G-7 pledged to provide further humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable.
“Russia’s war of aggression has generated one of the worst food and energy crises in recent history, which now threatens those most at risk across the globe,” the group said.
“We are committed to accelerating a coordinated multilateral response to safeguard global food security and to stay close to our most vulnerable partners in this regard,” he added.
Canada’s Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said her country, another major agricultural exporter, was ready to send ships to European ports so that Ukrainian wheat could be brought to those in need.
“We have to make sure that these cereals are sent to the world,” she told reporters. “If not, millions of people will face hunger.”
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The G-7 nations also called on China not to help Russia, including undermining international sanctions or justifying Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
Beijing should support Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence, not “help Russia in its fight against aggression,” they said.
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The G-7, which consists of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, also called on China “to refrain from engaging in information manipulation, misinformation and other means to legitimize the fight against terrorism.” Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. “
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The meeting in Weissenhaus, northeast of Hamburg, was billed as an opportunity for officials to discuss the wider implications of the war on geopolitics, energy and food security, and ongoing international efforts to tackle climate change and the pandemic.
In a series of concluding statements, the G-7 countries also addressed a wide range of global issues from the situation in Afghanistan to tensions in the Middle East.
As the war in Ukraine is threatening the global food crisis
On Friday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on friendly countries to offer more military support to Kiev and increase pressure on Russia, including seizing its assets abroad to pay for Ukraine’s reconstruction.
Kuleba said his country remained ready to talk to Russia about unblocking supplies of stuck wheat in Ukraine’s silos and also about reaching a political agreement to end the war itself, but so far had not taken. no positive reaction “from Moscow.
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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in an interview published Saturday that he had not revealed any change in Putin’s stance recently.
Scholz, who spoke at length on the phone with the Russian leader on Friday, told the German t-online news portal that Putin had failed to achieve the military objectives he had set at the start of the war, while losing more Russian soldiers than the Union did. Soviet during its ten-year campaign in Afghanistan.
“Putin must slowly begin to realize that the only way out of this situation is through an agreement with Ukraine,” Scholz was quoted as saying.
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One idea discussed at the G-7 meeting was whether Russian state assets frozen abroad could be used to pay for Ukraine’s reconstruction.
“Russia bears responsibility for the massive damage resulting from this war,” Baerbock said. “And that is why it is a matter of justice that Russia has to pay for this damage.”
But she added that, unlike Canada – where legislation allows sequestered funds to be reused – the legal basis for doing so in Germany is uncertain.
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“But that’s exactly what such meetings are about, to have an exchange of how to resolve these legal issues,” Baerbock said.
Many of the foreign ministers would attend an informal meeting of NATO diplomats in Berlin on Saturday and Sunday.
The meeting will examine moves by Finland and Sweden to join the military alliance amid concerns over the Russian threat, as well as ways in which NATO can support Ukraine without getting involved in the conflict.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was unable to attend the G-7 summit after recovering from a COVID-19 infection, was expected to attend the NATO summit.
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