The Foreign Minister of Italy, Luigi Di Maio has alerted on Wednesday that millions of people could die of starvation unless Russia unblocked Ukraine’s ports, as he hosted Mediterranean ministers on the global food crisis.
He further added that, “The next few weeks will be crucial to resolving the situation.” He made the following the statement following a virtual meeting involving Turkey and Lebanon among other nations, alongside G7 president Germany and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
“I want to say clearly that we expect clear and concrete signals from Russia, because blocking grain exports means holding hostage and condemning millions of children, women, and men to death.”
Ships which are loaded with grain remain blocked in Ukraine, which before Russia’s February invasion was considered a global breadbasket as a leading exporter of corn, wheat and sunflower seeds.
Lebanon’s Foreign Affairs Minister Abdallah Bou Habib told the meeting that rises in fuel and basic food stuffs were exacerbating the crisis in his country.
“The war in Ukraine must stop at any cost,” he said, adding that if it could not, “concerned parties… must be pressured to allow the safe export of grains and other commodities without any delay.
“The world cannot continue to be at the mercy of military crises in Europe or other regions of the world.”