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Russia’s role in rising global food insecurity takes center stage at G-20 foreign ministers' meeting

Grim Reaper 6

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is trying to mount a pressure campaign on Russia to allow food exports to reach hungry populations across Africa and the Middle East, an effort that’s been complicated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s attendance at the gathering of top diplomats from the world’s leading economies. Western officials are also planning to push back on Moscow’s insistence that Western sanctions are to blame for the growing global food crisis.

The U.N. and Turkey are each trying to mediate discussions to restart Ukraine’s grain exports. But Turkey's status as a neutral partner in the talks now appears to be in danger of being compromised in the eyes of Ukrainian officials. Kyiv has summoned Turkey’s ambassador in Ukraine after Ankara released a Russian-flagged cargo ship that Ukrainian authorities say is filled with “stolen” Ukrainian grain — Ukraine’s foreign affairs ministry estimates Russian forces have stolen at least 400,000 tons of grain from the country since the February invasion. The development threatens to damage relations between Ukraine and Turkey at a highly sensitive time, just days before another possible round of talks in Istanbul that aim to free millions of tons of food exports.


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