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Von der Leyen accuses Russia of using food supplies as a tool of war
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Russia was using food supplies as a means of war, as prices for cereals, edible oils and other products were rising during the Russian occupation of Ukraine.
Ukraine is considered one of the largest producers of wheat in the world.
"In Russian-occupied Ukraine, the Kremlin army is seizing grain and machinery stocks ... and Russian warships in the Black Sea are blocking Ukrainian ships full of wheat and sunflower seeds," von der Leyen told the World Forum. Economic, in Davos, Switzerland on May 24.
"Russia is now amassing its own food exports as a form of blackmail - blocking supplies in order to boost world prices, or offering grain in exchange for political support. ... That means using hunger and grain for it. gained power ”.
She said some of these events reminded her of "the days of the dark past of Soviet confiscation of crops and the devastating famine of the 1930s", a reference to the famine that killed millions of Ukrainians.
Russia has said food prices have risen because of Western sanctions imposed on Moscow in response to the war in Ukraine.
The German government has accused Russia of blocking a shipment of 20 million tonnes of grain from Ukraine, while Polish President Andrzej Duda has said a lack of supplies could spur a new wave of migrants from North Africa to Europe.
Von der Leyen said the best way to stop Russia from disrupting the food supply chain is through global cooperation.