The Group of Seven leading economies have warned that the Ukraine conflict is fueling a worldwide food and energy crisis that threatens poor countries, and that immediate action is required to unblock grain stocks that Russia is stopping from leaving Ukraine.
On Saturday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who convened a gathering of top G7 diplomats, declared the conflict a “world disaster.”
Baerbock said up to 50 million people, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, would face hunger in the coming months unless ways are found to release Ukrainian grain, which accounts for a sizeable share of the worldwide supply.
In statements released at the end of the three-day meeting on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast, the G7 pledged to provide further humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable.
“Russia’s war of aggression has generated one of the most severe food and energy crises in recent history which now threatens those most vulnerable across the globe,” the group said.
“We are determined to accelerate a coordinated multilateral response to preserve global food security and stand by our most vulnerable partners in this respect,” it added.
Canada’s foreign minister, Melanie Joly, said her country, another major agricultural exporter, stands ready to send ships to European ports so Ukrainian grain can be brought to those in need.
“We need to make sure that these cereals are sent to the world,” she told reporters. “If not, millions of people will be facing famine.”
The G7 nations also called on China not to help Russia, including by undermining international sanctions or justifying Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
Beijing should support the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, and not “assist Russia in its war of aggression”, they said.