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Millions could starve if Russia blocks Ukrainian ports

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that the Russian blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports could result in millions of civilians starving to death.

In his chilling warning, Zelenskyy said the world was “on the brink of a terrible food crisis” after Russia seized large swaths of Ukraine’s coast, blocked exports of agricultural produce through its seaports and skyrocketed grain prices.

“This means there could unfortunately be physical shortages of product in dozens of countries around the world,” he said in a televised address at the TIME100 2022 Gala in New York on Wednesday.

The Ukrainian leader said his country is struggling to export wheat, corn, vegetables and oil, among other products that once played a “stabilizing role in the world market” before Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks on stage during the TIME100 2022 Gala (via satellite).
Volodymyr Zelensky speaks onstage (via satellite) during the TIME100 2022 Gala where he was recognized as one of the most influential people of 2022.
REUTERS

Blaming Russia for the blockade, Zelenskyy said: “While we are looking for ways to protect freedom, another person is destroying it. Another person continues to blackmail the world with hunger.”

“Millions of people could starve if the Russian blockade of the Black Sea continues,” he added.

While Zelenskyy and the West accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of arming food deliveries, Russia blames the Kremlin for international sanctions.

Granary Nika-Tera in the port of Mykolayiv.
The Nika Tera grain storage terminal in the port of Mykolaiv, Ukraine, amid a Russian blockade.
Planet Labs PBC/AFP via Getty Images

Elsewhere in his address, Zelenskyy — who was included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2022 — said he was grateful to US President Joe Biden for “uniting the free world when the Russian threat came up”.

It comes as Zelenskyy recently said the Kremlin is not “serious” about negotiations to end the war – and described Putin as living in an “alternative reality”.

Through a translator, Zelensky told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that his initial optimism about the negotiations had faltered.

Scattered grain lies in a warehouse damaged by Russian attacks in Cherkaska Lozova on the outskirts of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine
Scattered grain lies in a warehouse damaged by Russian attacks in Cherkaska Lozova on the outskirts of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine.
AP Photo/Bernat Armangue
Farmers prepare to sow sunflowers in a field in Cherkaska Lozova on the outskirts of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine
Farmers prepare to sow sunflowers in a field in Cherkaska Lozova, on the outskirts of Kharkiv.
AP Photo/Bernat Armangue

“I don’t see their willingness, nor do I see any expediency in what we are talking about,” said Zelenskyy, adding that he wanted to speak directly to Putin.

https://nypost.com/2022/06/09/zelensky-millions-could-starve-as-russia-blocks-ukraine-ports/ Millions could starve if Russia blocks Ukrainian ports

JACLYN DIAZ

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