Jhe United States and Russia blamed each other on Thursday for the worsening food situation around the world as the war in Ukraine unfolds.
Washington has called on Russia to allow Ukrainian grain exports stuck in Black Sea ports. Ukraine is one of the world’s leading producers of wheat.
“Stop blockading Black Sea ports. Allow free movement of ships, trains and trucks carrying food out of Ukraine,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a meeting of the Council of UN security organized by the United States.
“Stop threatening to suspend food and fertilizer exports from countries that criticize your war of aggression,” he said.
“The food supply of millions of Ukrainians and millions of others around the world has literally been held hostage by the Russian military,” Blinken added.
Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, countered by saying that his country was blamed for all the misfortunes in the world.
He said the world had long suffered from a food crisis caused by an inflationary spiral resulting from rising insurance costs, logistical problems and speculation in Western markets.
He argued that Ukrainian ports are blocked by Ukraine itself, which he said has placed mines along the Black Sea coast.