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EU chief diplomat: Russian strikes against Odesa to cause large-scale food crisis

by Martin Fornusek July 20, 2023 11:10 AM 2 min read
The aftermath of Russian strikes against Odesa on July 19, 2023. (Photo: State Emergency Service/Telegram)
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Russian attacks against Odesa's port infrastructure and deliberate destruction of food stocks will lead to a large-scale food crisis in the world, the EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell said on July 20, as cited by Ukrinform.

"What we already know is that such actions will create a large, huge food crisis in the world. This grain is not simply stuck in warehouses but destroyed. This means that there will be a shortage of food, a shortage of grain in the world," Borrell said before the start of a foreign policy meeting of the Council of Ministers in Brussels.

The session, which will be attended by Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba via teleconference, will address further support for Ukraine, including long-term security commitments from the EU, Borrell commented.

"This means more resources for the European Peace Facility (EPF). We presented a plan to provide financial assistance to Ukraine for the coming years, with a significant amount of money. I hope the ministers support it," the EU's chief diplomat revealed.

The EPF is the EU's foreign policy tool allowing to finance non-EU partners in pursuit of joint peace and security building. Ukraine has received seven support packages through this fund so far and Brussels decided on June 27 to bring the total value of the fund to $13 billion.

On July 17, Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, brokered in 2022, which allowed Ukraine to export its grain even during the ongoing full-scale invasion. The move sparked fears of food insecurity worldwide.

Moscow followed up the termination of the deal with three days of consecutive strikes against the port city of Odesa. According to Ukrainian officials, Russian forces targeted agricultural infrastructure and destroyed around 60,000 tons of grain.

The Russian government warned that as of July 20, all ships sailing toward Ukrainian ports will be regarded as military targets. The White House claimed that Moscow considers attacking civilian ships on the Black Sea and putting the blame on Ukraine.

Ukraine war latest: Zelensky says Russia deliberately targets grain infrastructure in Odesa Oblast
Key developments on July 19: * Russia’s overnight attack targets Ukraine’s grain infrastructure in Odesa Oblast, injures at least 10 * US to provide 4 NASAMS systems to Ukraine under new $1.3 billion military aid package * Russia threatens that all ships sailing to Ukrainian ports will be consid…
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