Washington [US]: Group of Seven (G7) on Sunday condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine which is placing global food security under severe strain.
They urged Russia to end its blockade and all other activities that further impede Ukrainian food production and exports in line with its international commitments.
The strong statement came after a virtual meeting of the G7 leaders, who were joined by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“President Putin’s war against Ukraine is placing global food security under severe strain. Together with the United Nations, we call on Russia to end its blockade and all other activities that further impede Ukrainian food production and exports, in line with its international commitments,” read the G7 joint statement.
They said that the failure to do so will be seen as an attack on feeding the world.
“We will step up efforts to help Ukraine to keep producing in view of the next harvest season and exporting, including by alternative routes,” added the statement.
President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is causing global economic disruptions, impacting the security of global energy supply, fertiliser and food provision, and the functioning of global supply chains in general. The most vulnerable countries are affected most severely.
“Together with partners globally, we are stepping up our efforts to counter these adverse and harmful impacts of this war,” said the statement.
G7 said that in support of the United Nations Global Crises Response Group, they will address the causes and consequences of the global food crisis through a Global Alliance for Food Security, as their joint initiative to ensure momentum and coordination, and other efforts.
“We will closely cooperate with international partners and organisations beyond the G7, and, with the aim of transforming political commitments into concrete actions as planned by various international initiatives such as the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM) and key regional outreach initiatives, including towards African and Mediterranean countries,” added the statement.
Earlier, they pledged to continue imposing severe and immediate economic costs on President Putin’s regime for the “unjustifiable war”.
“We reiterate that our sanctions packages are carefully targeted so as not to impede the delivery of humanitarian assistance or the trade of agricultural products and reaffirm our commitment to avoid food export restrictions which impact the most vulnerable,” said the statement.
They said that G7 and Ukraine stand united in this difficult time and in their quest to ensure Ukraine’s democratic, prosperous future.
“We remain united in our resolve that President Putin must not win his war against Ukraine. We owe it to the memory of all those who fought for freedom in the Second World War, to continue fighting for it today, for the people of Ukraine, Europe and the global community,” added the statement.
The leaders commemorated the end of World War 2 in Europe, which happened on this day in 1945, following the surrender of the German forces to the allied powers.
“Seventy-seven years later, President Putin and his regime now chose to invade Ukraine in an unprovoked war of aggression against a sovereign country. His actions bring shame on Russia and the historic sacrifices of its people,” the statement read.
On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, three days after recognising the Ukrainian breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as “independent republics”. The Russian Ministry of Defense maintains that the operation is targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only. In response, Western nations imposed comprehensive sanctions against Russia.