“We know people around the world are going to be starving because of the actions of Russia,” Trudeau told Reuters in an interview. “There is grain waiting to be shipped in Ukraine. We have to make sure that Russia doesn’t prevent the grain that the world needs from getting out to the world”. Since Moscow launched what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine in late February, the latter has been forced to export grain by train over its western border. Kyiv has also been looking to use ports on the Danube river in the country’s south to help with exports.
Canada would assist Ukraine in determining how to export stockpiled grain in order to maintain world food security, which has been shattered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said late Sunday. According to a United Nations food agency official, about 25 million tonnes of grains are stranded in Ukraine and unable to leave due to infrastructure problems and blocked Black Sea ports, notably Mariupol. Mariupol has seen the most bloodshed throughout the 10-week conflict. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world’s No. 4 supplier of maize (corn) and No. 6 exporter of wheat, food prices rose to record highs in March. In April, prices fell marginally.
Shipments via Danube river ports could be part of the solution, Trudeau said, not revealing details, but adding that a number of options were being considered. “We’re just looking to solve a very direct problem”. Analysts have warned that Ukraine will face a significant shortage of storing facilities in the 2022/23 season due to a sharp fall in exports. Trudeau, in an unannounced visit to Ukraine, said after his meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Sunday that Canada was providing $25 million to the U.N.’s World Food Programme as part of efforts to uphold food security.
Canada will also remove trade tariffs on all Ukrainian imports to Canada for next year. “It doesn’t serve anyone if Vladimir Putin’s war is not just killing Ukrainians, but is starving people around the world,” Trudeau told Reuters, referring to Russia’s president.
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