Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy predicts a global food crisis if Ukraine cannot free the ports from Russian control.
Russia has blocked Ukrainian ports like Odesa and Mariupol, keeping millions of tons of Ukrainian barley and grain from being shipped internationally.
Zelenskyy warned that, eventually, it would become a global crisis.
“Russia has blocked almost all ports and all, so to speak, maritime opportunities to export food — our grain, barley, sunflower, and more — a lot of things,” said Zelenskyy after meeting with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa in Kyiv.
“There will be a crisis in the world. The second crisis after the energy one, which Russia provoked.
“Now it will create a food crisis if we do not unblock the routes for Ukraine, do not help the countries of Africa, Europe, Asia, which need these food products.”
According to reports, the United States Nations Security Council is aware the blockages will put a global hunger crisis to “famine levels.”
According to Business Insider, Ukraine accounts for 6% of food calories, about 80 million metric tons of grain, traded worldwide.
Zelenskyy explained that the impending food crisis proves the need for “a military solution” after Russia’s unprovoked invasion and control of southern Ukraine.
“That is why we turn to our partners with inquiries regarding the relevant weapons,” Zelenskyy said.
At a recent U.N. Security Council meeting, food insecurity expert Sara Menker estimated that the world’s wheat supply would only last 10 weeks. A U.N. official warned in early May that Russian forces are blocking 4.5 million tons of wheat in Ukraine’s ports.
Russia failed to take Kyiv, blocks key eastern ports
After Russia failed to take Kyiv in what was predicted to be a quick, easy victory, Russia has refocused efforts on eastern port cities, Mariupol and Odesa. Ukrainian troops have stopped fighting in the areas, and Russia appears to be in control.
President Joe Biden recently signed a $40 billion humanitarian and military aid package for Ukraine. In a separate address to the Ukrainian people, Zelenskyy thanked Biden for aiding Ukraine.