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Statement by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock prior to departing for New York

18.05.2022 - Press release

Russia’s war of aggression has brought immeasurable suffering to millions of people in Ukraine and is causing massive damage far beyond Ukraine’s borders. Ukrainian fields lying fallow and destroyed grain silos, bombed transport routes and blockaded ports are the reason why the grain that is so urgently needed is not reaching the global market. Russia’s war has meant prices for wheat, corn and cooking oil have spiralled around the world. Here, President Putin is hitting the poorest in the world the hardest. He is hitting the children, women and men who are already suffering from drought, the climate crisis and the economic impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic and are dependent on assistance. Russia is not just cynically accepting famines and food crises in the Global South. It is using hunger as a weapon to demand allegiance.

We are countering this with our solidarity. We are helping where help is needed and not because it suits our political agenda. In so doing, we are supporting the international order that Russia is brutally attacking. In so doing, we are protecting human life, which Russia is deliberately putting at risk. It is crucial that we, the global community, now act quickly and together, taking concrete steps. That is why I am heading to the United Nations in New York today where, at the invitation of my colleague Antony Blinken, some 35 countries are meeting at the UN, including those whose people are suffering most.

Our G7 Presidency has identified food security as a key part of our work together. We have agreed on specific voluntary commitments to alleviate the food crisis. At her G7 meeting in Berlin tomorrow, my Cabinet colleague, Development Minister Svenja Schulze, will launch the alliance for global food security. Furthermore, Germany is involved in the working group led by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to overcome the crisis. After all, the international community and the G7 will now do what needs to be done: both in the short term by supporting Ukraine and providing humanitarian assistance around the world; but also in the long term by working to counter the climate crisis and droughts and above all to promote sustainable development, also in the poorest corners of our world.

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