The Ambassadors of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the EU in Cairo issued a joint statement on the current grain crisis.
The statement indicated that the price for wheat in world markets is at an all-time high, at 160% of pre-crisis levels. All signs point towards even harder challenges to come.
“It is Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine that endangers the supply of grain to the world,” the statement read.
They called on Russia to stop “its brutal war against Ukraine and withdraw its troops from Ukraine immediately.”
The statement accused Russia of blocking Ukrainian ships in Black Sea ports, saying that 20 million tonnes of grain have been prevented from being exported from Ukraine to countries around the world, including Egypt.
“Russia itself chose to stop its own exports of many sorts of grain due to the war and decided to only feed “friendly nations,” the statement added.
“The decision to weaponise food is Moscow’s and Moscow’s alone. Regardless as to what Russian officials might say regarding cooperation with Egypt, they cannot explain away the hardships this war of aggression is causing in Egypt.”
The statement added that Russia might announce one or two ships of grain bound for Egypt, yet this only makes it clearer that Russian President Vladimir Putin stopped these exports in the first place.
Furthermore, the G7 ambassadors said that Russia is blaming the sanctions imposed by G7 countries and others for the imminent food crisis.
“This is false. Our sanctions target those responsible for the war. They exclude food supplies, agricultural commodities and other humanitarian as well as medical goods. They are a means to stop Russia’s war machine, which is causing the global food crisis.”
“The G7 is standing by their commitment to support Egypt through this crisis caused by Russia’s war. We are enhancing our cooperation with Egypt to meet this crisis, through increased support to the World Food Program’s activities in Egypt, regional frameworks such as the Global Alliance for Food Security (GAFS) or the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM) or support to the Government of Egypt through bilateral assistance like the EU food facility and national frameworks. Russia has failed to offer such support.”
The statement added that the G7 are closely consulting with Egypt and other regional partners on this crisis.
“Just as the Egyptian government is actively engaged in securing shipments of wheat and other foodstuffs, the G7 states are at work to keep global agricultural markets open. We support Ukraine in producing and exporting foodstuffs to help alleviate the crisis. Through this, we also stand by the people of Egypt,” the statement concluded.