US Secretary of State: ‘Russia plunges up to 50 million people into famine’

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Russia’s war in Ukraine will plunge 40 to 50 million people into starvation worldwide. Blinken blamed Russia for this on Friday at a press conference with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock.

The US secretary refutes Russian accusations that Western sanctions are the cause of the current food crisis. “There is no reason other than the Russian blockade of Ukraine and the Russian refusal to export its own grain for political reasons.”

Baerbock said international partners are engaged in fighting Russia’s “grain war”. Her priority now is to establish reliable transport routes to get as much grain from Ukraine as possible and to combat global food insecurity.

Width of railway lines differs

Because Russia is blocking the Black Sea, the grain cannot leave Ukraine by ship. In addition, the Ukrainian railways have a different width than the European tracks, so all the grain has to be loaded into different wagons at the border.

According to the United Nations, the number of people suffering from hunger has exploded in recent years, especially since the corona pandemic. The UN now numbers 345 million people worldwide with severe food insecurity.

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