Russia is being charged with holding the world food supply “hostage” and driving up global grain prices due to its blockade of Ukrainian ports.
Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenskiy in a video address to the Davos World Economic Forum called the blockade “a declaration of war” and asked the world leaders in Davos to boycott Russian oil, technology and other products. Ukrainian officials have asked for a safe corridor to allow grain exports to resume.
In remarks to reporters on May 21, Zelenskiy warned of a food crisis, especially in nations in Africa and the Middle East that had been receiving supplies of Ukrainian grain. “Now it will create a food crisis if we do not unblock the routes for Ukraine, do not help the countries of Africa, Europe, Asia, which need these food products,” he said.
U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced Russia’s actions before the U.N. Security Council on May 19. "The food supply for millions of Ukrainians and millions more around the world has quite literally been held hostage by the Russian military," Blinken said.
The World Food Programme estimates that up to 323 million people could become food-insecure due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, up from 276 million before the war.