Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is warning that millions of people around the world may starve if Russia fails to allow Ukraine to export grain from its ports.
“We cannot export our wheat, corn, vegetable oil and other products that have played a stabilizing role in the global market,” he said according to the prepared remarks of a taped video address to the Time 100 Gala.
“This means that, unfortunately, dozens of countries may face a physical shortage of food. Millions of people may starve if Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea continues.”
Some context: Global leaders have condemned a months-long blockade by Russian forces at key ports in Ukraine — including Mariupol on the Sea of Azov and Odesa on the Black Sea — which has left more than 20 million tons of grain stuck inside the country. The Ukrainian Navy said Monday that approximately 30 Russian ships and submarines continued the blockade of civilian shipping in the Black Sea.