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World bread war

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Italy warns that the world bread war has already begun

  • Ukraine blockade prevents many vulnerable countries from having access to grain

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio assured that “the world bread war has already started” due to the blockade of cereals in Ukraine, which prevents many vulnerable countries from having access to the grain, and that implies “the risk of new conflicts breaking out in Africa”.

“The global bread war is already underway and we must stop it. We risk political instability in Africa, the proliferation of terrorist organizations, coups d’état: this can be produced by the grain crisis we are experiencing,” Di Maio said.

Ukraine was before the war one of the world’s leading exporters of grain and agricultural fertilizers and its goods were critical to the food security of areas such as the Middle East and North Africa.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “must reach a peace agreement as soon as possible, which also passes through an agreement on grain, such as a ceasefire agreement that would allow us to evacuate women, civilians and children who have been under Russian bombs in eastern Ukraine for 100 days,” he added.

“There are 30 million tons of grain blocked in Ukrainian ports by Russian warships,” specified Di Maio, who indicated that “what we are doing is working for Russia to unblock the export of wheat to Ukrainian ports, because right now we run the risk of new wars breaking out in Africa.”

The head of Italian diplomacy recalled that “we will hold a first session of dialogue with the Mediterranean countries on food security, we will work with all partners together with Germany, Turkey, France and many others to reach the goal of unblocking the quantities of wheat that must leave Ukraine.”

Italy offered a few days ago to clear Ukrainian ports and create “maritime corridors” for the transport of wheat and Prime Minister Mario Draghi phoned Putin to ask him to unblock the export of grain from Ukraine also from Black Sea and Sea of Azov ports such as Mariupol, which are overrun by Russian troops.

The Russian president replied that if the West lifted sanctions on Russia, his country would be able to export grain.

The Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned of the repercussions the war between Ukraine and Russia, both grain exporting giants, is having on food security worldwide.

Italy is organizing a Ministerial Dialogue with Mediterranean countries on June 8, in collaboration with FAO, to understand the needs and outline intervention measures in the face of the serious repercussions of the war on food security, particularly in the Mediterranean and Africa.

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