Top EU diplomat: Russia holding up Ukrainian grain is a 'real war crime'


by Mike Brest, Washington Examiner

June 20, 2022


Russia is committing a "real war crime" by blocking grain exports from Ukraine, as this has prevented millions of tons from getting out of the country, according to a top European Union official.


Ukraine, the world's largest exporter of sunflower oil, fourth largest of corn, and fifth largest of wheat, has been unable to ship agricultural products since Russia's Feb. 24 invasion because of a Russian blockade of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Russia's refusal to allow the ports to operate in the country unencumbered has raised concerns about a growing hunger crisis around the world.


"One cannot imagine that millions of tons of wheat remain blocked in Ukraine, while in the rest of the world, people are suffering hunger," High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell told reporters on Monday, as he arrived for a meeting with EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. "This is a real war crime."


"The problem comes from the Russian blockade of Ukrainian grain," he added, addressing a long-standing denial from Russian leaders that the war is responsible for the blockades...