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‘Africa is actually a hostage’: Zelensky blames food crisis on Russia

As food grains remain stuck in the Black Sea port due to the war in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky has declared that “Africa is in fact a hostage”.

“This war may seem very far away for you and your countries. But catastrophically rising food prices have already brought (war) into the homes of millions of African families,” the Ukrainian president told the Union African.

Zelensky claimed that the “unjust level of food prices” was due to the Russian war which was “painfully felt on all continents. Unfortunately, this may be a particular problem for your countries”.

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Ukraine’s president claimed 25 million tonnes of foodgrains were blocked by Russia as he said ‘complex multilevel negotiations’ were underway with Russian authorities to lift the blockade of Ukrainian ports, but he said acknowledged that no progress had been made so far.

“The food crisis in the world will continue as long as this colonial war continues,” Zelensky told African countries.

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Russia has blocked the Black Sea port since February, when President Putin declared a “special military operation” against Ukraine with several Russian warships reportedly deployed in the area.

Meanwhile, Russia has declared that “the possibility of a famine” was the “fault of Western regimes”. The Russian Foreign Ministry has accused Western countries of “systematic errors” in its agricultural policy while saying it has created “short-sighted” financial and monetary mechanisms amid the pandemic.

The Foreign Office said it was “impossible” to isolate Russia, while adding: “What is possible is for the West to isolate themselves. If they isolate someone, they isolate themselves from us. This is the absolute truth”.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 8:55pm on Thursday June 30th, 2022