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Russia's U.N. ambassador storms outs after EU blames food crisis on Ukraine invasion

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations walked out of a security council meeting on Tuesday when the European Union’s representative blamed the ongoing global food shortage on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and blockade of Black Sea ports

United Nations HQ in New York City
United Nations HQ in New York City | Shutterstock

June 9, 2022 8:52am

Updated: June 9, 2022 9:22am

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations walked out of a security council meeting on Tuesday when the European Union’s representative blamed the ongoing global food shortage on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and blockade of Black Sea ports.

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, told Russian envoy Vassily Nebeznya that Moscow was using its stranglehold over grain exports as leverage over the developing world that relies on food imports, reports The Times of London.

“Mr. Ambassador of the Russian Federation, let’s be honest, the Kremlin is using food supplies as a stealth missile against developing countries,” Michel said.

“The dramatic consequences of Russia’s war are spilling over across the globe, and this is driving up food prices, pushing people into poverty, and destabilising entire regions. Russia is solely responsible for this food crisis.”

Russia and Ukraine account for almost a third of the world’s grain supply, so prices have been severely impacted by the ongoing war between the two countries.

In 2021, 20 countries imported half or more of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine, according to UN data. Experts say the world is at risk of a global food crisis as a consequence of the invasion.

Michel, who has visited the stockpiles of grain stuck in the Ukrainian port of Odesa, taunted Nebeznia as rose and left, calling after him: “You may leave the room, maybe it's easier not to listen to the truth, dear Ambassador.”

The European Union has permanent observer status in the UN Security Council. It is represented alongside its 27 members, one of which is permanent security council member France.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dangled the possibility of lifting his navy’s blockade of Ukrainian ports if international sanctions on its agricultural sector are lifted.

Talks with Russia and Turkey for a sea lane to export grain across the Black Sea ended without a breakthrough on Wednesday. Ukraine was not a part of the talks.