U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is accusing Russia of weaponizing food and holding grain for millions of people around the world hostage in order to help accomplish what its invasion of Ukraine has not — “to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people.”
He told a U.N. Security Council meeting on Thursday that the war has halted maritime trade in large areas of the Black Sea and made the region unsafe for navigation, trapping Ukrainian agricultural exports and jeopardizing global food supplies. Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia blamed Ukraine — not Russia — for blocking 75 vessels and mining waterways.
“As a result of the Russian government’s actions, some 20 million tons of grain sit unused in Ukrainian silos as global food supplies dwindle, prices skyrocket, causing more around the world to experience food insecurity,” Blinken said.