US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Russia on Thursday of weaponizing food and holding grain for millions of people around the world hostage to help accomplish what its invasion of Ukraine has not – “to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people.” Follow FRANCE 24’s liveblog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT + 2).
02:55 am: Blinken accuses Russia of using food as a weapon
Blinken told a UN Security Council meeting called by the United States that the war has halted maritime trade in large areas of the Black Sea and made the region unsafe for navigation, trapping Ukrainian agricultural exports and jeopardizing global food supplies.
Blinken said the meeting, which he chaired, was taking place “at a moment of unprecedented global hunger” fueled by climate change and COVID-19 “and made even worse by conflict.”
Since Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24, he said, its naval operations have sought to control access to the northwestern Black Sea and the Sea of Azov and to block Ukrainian ports which the United States assesses to be “a deliberate effort” to block safe passage and shut down shipping.
Blinken at the UN Security Council
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and REUTERS)
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