Russia has deliberately decided to extend the military war against Ukraine into a grain war, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said during the concluding press conference of the G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Germany.
"Russia's actions are causing supplies to fail, prices to rise immeasurably — not only in our country but around the world — and the threat of brutal hunger,“ Baerbock said.
"We must not be naïve — this is not collateral damage. It is a deliberately chosen instrument in a hybrid war that is being waged right now,“ she added.
"Russia is preparing the breeding ground for new crises in order to deliberately weaken international cohesion against Russia's war,“ said Baerbock. "Hunger, instability, energy insecurity, the creeping erosion of democratic values, but also of human rights through disinformation" are caused by the Russian aggression on Ukraine, Baerbock said.
Some background: Russia and Ukraine both produce almost 30% of global wheat exports. Russian troops have been stealing farm equipment and thousands of tons of grain from Ukrainian farmers, as well as targeting food storage sites with artillery, according to sources. Ukraine's defense ministry said last week that an estimated 400,000 tons of grain had been stolen by Russian troops. And CNN tracked a Russian ship loaded with nearly 30,000 tons of Ukrainian grain that was turned away from two Mediterranean ports before landing in Syria.
"How we act, or how we don't act, will shape the way we live together in the world for many years or perhaps decades to come. That is why ducking out of the way, passivity or dithering, hesitation, and then in the end saying nothing at all, is not an option for us, for me personally," Baerbock said.
"Having had to make many decisions in recent weeks to support Ukraine in a sprint," Baerbock now fears that the alliance must prepare for "a long-distance race" to "to fight this global crisis."
"We will never recognize border changes that Russia wants to enforce by military force,“ Baerbock added.