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Ukraine’s Zelenskyy on food crisis, prices amid war with Russia


Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine addresses the participants in Singapore’s Shangri-La Dialogue Summit via videolink on June 11, 2022.

Roslan Rahman | Afp | Getty Images

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that the world will face a “severe food crisis,” with Russia’s war on his country dragging on, as he virtually addressed the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Saturday.

Zelenskyy informed delegates his country couldn’t export enough food due to Russia’s blocking of Black Sea ports. This was stopping exports from other countries.

The world faces an acute, severe and prolonged food crisis, and there will be famine,” he stated to the 575 attendees from 40 countries who attended Asia’s most important defense conference, Dialogue.

Russia and Ukraine are the two largest exporters and producers of wheat, as well as other essential food like oils and grains.

“The food [crisis]Touches Asia, Europe and Africa. Russia blocked the Black Sea. Rising prices. After his speech, Zelenskyy answered questions in a Q-and-A session.

Russia “strives for international law to be discarded”

Zelenskyy said that Russia’s war on Ukraine is a threat to the system of international law — beyond the impact on his country.

Zelenskyy stated that Russia is engaged in a “disinformation war” against Ukraine and that it has claimed that the conflict with Ukraine was “ostensibly about NATO…about the desire of the West to somehow move forward in Europe.”

“But Russia’s war with Ukraine isn’t just about Europe. It is also about global importance things,” he stated.

Russian leadership is determined to “discredit” history, including international law, Zelenskyy stated, appealing to countries to “break Russia’s ability to block the seas and freedom of navigation.”

“If there had been no international law, and the big fish ate the small fish and the small fish ate shrimps, we would not have existed,” he said, invoking the words of Singapore’s founder Lee Kuan Yew.

Zelenskyy addressed the audience at an unidentified place in Kyiv and stated that Ukraine would “certainly win” the war Russia started. He did so in a sometimes passionate 20 minute speech, to which the delegate responded with long applause. This three-day dialogue on security is taking place for the first-time in two years after the outbreak of pandemic.