Is Putin Really Using Food as a Weapon of War, as the U.S. Claims, or is This a False Accusation?
- 31-Oct-2022 4:00 PM
- Journalist: Jacob Kutchner
On October 30, Sunday, Russia started up its military blockade of Ukrainian ports once more, stopping the shipment of grain supplies that were primarily destined for low-income countries and rekindling concerns about a rise in global food prices. As soon as Russia's activities were questioned, the United States claimed that it had "weaponized food" to gain advantage during its botched invasion of Ukraine.
The suspension by Russia of a U.N.-mediated agreement to permit the safe passage of ships carrying grain from Ukraine, one of the world's breadbaskets, might result in an increase in world famine, according to Biden. Russia declared a day earlier that it would halt its participation in the agreement that permitted grain exports from Ukraine after accusing Kyiv of conducting a drone attack against its Black Sea Fleet. Ukraine has, however, denied the allegations. Biden remarked in Wilmington, Delaware, on Saturday that "it's just outrageous." "What they're doing has no merit. That agreement was reached through U.N. negotiations, and that ought to be the end of it. The president of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said that "the world cannot afford for Putin to continue using food as a weapon of war" and asked Russia to continue participating in the Black Sea grain deal that the UN-mediated.
"I lament the statements made by Russia on the suspension of its involvement in the Black Sea Grain Initiative. In the midst of a devastating global food crisis, this life-saving agreement between Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey, mediated by the United Nations in July, has allowed the export of more than nine million metric tons of grain and other food products to populations around the world, USAID Administrator Samantha Power wrote in a statement Sunday.
Grain exports from Ukraine are a significant source of income for the nation, whose economy has been devastated by Russia's eight-month war. Additionally, they are a vital source of food for nations in Asia and Africa. The U.S. Secretary of State has encouraged Russia to rejoin the agreement, stating that its absence was "exacerbating" an already severe food crisis affecting primarily developing nations. Any action taken by Russia to obstruct these vital grain exports amounts to a declaration that families and individuals around the world should either pay more for food or go without. Russia has, in fact, once more turned food into a weapon in the conflict it initiated by suspending this agreement.