16:34 15 Nov 2022

russia must stop weaponizing food - EU top diplomat

Photo: ICTV

russia must stop using hunger as a weapon in the war against Ukraine

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell stated this at the press conference following Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels. The discussion focused on continuing the European Union's support for Ukraine in russia's war in Ukraine, putting more pressure on the russian regime.

Touching on global food security, the top diplomate mentioned the Black Sea Grains Initiative and emphasized the need to extend it beyond November 19.

"Now, the international community must ensure the renewable and practical implementation of the Black Sea Grains Initiative beyond the November 19 deadline. It is very important that this initiative, driven by the United Nations and Turkey, can be implemented," said Borrell.

Josep Borell also stressed that the reason for the vulnerable condition of food security is directly related to russia's Black Sea blockage, "not a tsunami, or natural disaster," and it's affecting the vulnerable countries dependent on food imports.

The EU foreign diplomacy chief also said that although the EU is putting restrictive measures on russia, it doesn't stop the russian federation from exporting their agricultural products and fertilizers.
Josep Borrell alluded to the EU-US-UK joint statement, published on November 14, 2022, clarifying the russian sanctions introduced by the EU do not limit the russian federation from exporting food.
"We have always been clear that the target of our sanctions is russia's war machine and not the food or fertilizer sectors. To that end, we have provided clarity to the industry and partners. This includes the UK's publication of a General Licence, the US General Licence 6B, and updated and detailed EU guidance. These provisions make clear that banks, insurers, shippers, and other actors can continue to bring Russian food and fertilizer to the world," the statement said.
The top diplomat concluded that the russian regime could not use the food security issue as a lever to influence the countries of Africa and Latin America and blackmail the West, as russia was causing the food crisis.

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