Cairo, Egypt (AFP):
Ukraine’s special envoy for the Middle East on Thursday accused Moscow of preventing Ukrainian wheat deliveries to the region, addressing the Arab League just weeks after the group hosted Russia’s foreign minister.
“Ukraine today has 20 million tonnes of grain ready to be exported, principally to Arab and African states,” Maksym Subkh told the pan-Arab bloc by video conference, saying “the siege of our ports by the Russian invaders” had blocked deliveries.
The increase in global food prices is “a direct result of Russian aggression,” he added.
The Ukraine war has severely hampered grain supply from the country, leading to an international food crisis as it is one of the world’s biggest producers.
Some ships have been able to leave Ukrainian ports in recent days after a deal with Russia brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.
Several members of the Arab League are heavily dependent on wheat imports from both Russia and Ukraine, and have been reeling from food insecurity since Moscow’s invasion of its neighbour.
But while the United States has sought to isolate Russia on the global stage over the war, it has faced less success in the Arab world, where many countries are hesitant to strain relations with Moscow.