President of Estonia: Russia using hunger as global weapon of war
The impact of Russia's war on Ukraine goes far beyond that country's borders, with other parts of the world threatened by hunger as a direct result of the Kremlin's actions, President Alar Karis says.
President Karis made his remarks in a presentation video-linked at the Grain from Ukraine summit, initiated by President Volodomyr Zelenskyy, which follows in its entirety.
Ladies and gentlemen.
Hunger cannot be a weapon of war. That millions of people – women, men and children around the world are feeling the impact of Russia's aggression against Ukraine.
The impact from missile strikes, the blockade of Ukrainian ports, minefields, and destruction to full production, significantly deepens global food insecurity and hunger.
We stand in solidarity with all efforts to ensure that food continues to reach those in need.
We underline the crucial role of the UN Black Sea Grain Initiative, in making sure that food products reach vulnerable people and countries around the world.
Alongside the EU established solidarity lanes.
It needs to be able to function effectively and in full. Estonia is responding to humanitarian needs globally; this includes supporting food security.
We have continued to support the world food program, including its efforts to assist the people of Yemen, Afghanistan and Syria.
Ukraine itself has a memory of a deadly, man-made great famine, the Holodomor, that took the lives of millions of its people, created by Stalin's policies, the totalitarian system sought to erase the memory of the famine, along with its victims.
Yet, Ukraine remembers, and in the midst of defending its freedom, sovereignty and independence against the brutal attack, it continues to reach out to those affected by hunger around the world.
We welcome its commitment, including the initiative launched today.
We are glad to support it together with partners, to make sure that those most vulnerable in Africa and in Asia do not pay the price of Russia's war.
However, we all agree that the most effective way to reduce food insecurity and hunger is to make sure that the Russian aggression against Ukraine, an independent UN member state, ends and its perpetrators are brought to justice.
The full video of the presentation is below.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte