Famine caused by grain and food shortages due to the invasion of Ukraine could cause more deaths than the war itself, said British Transport Minister Grant Shaps.
His comments came as Russia continues to block Ukraine’s major seaports, hindering the export of millions of tons of grain and other agricultural products.
Mr Schaps said he was very concerned about the issue, which had raised world food prices. Ukraine can not export nearly 25 million tons of grain, and last week met with Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Alexander Kubrakov.
“We discussed details that I can’t go into, but about how a grain infrastructure can be set up
is leaving, ”he told Sky News.
“We are considering different options… there are many different potential ways to get grain and other goods
from the country. “
“It’s absolutely necessary that we do, otherwise there could be a great famine and even a famine.”
Poland has become a major gateway for Western humanitarian aid and weapons to Ukraine, and helps Ukraine deliver grain and other agricultural products to world markets.
Sky International Affairs Editor Dominique Waghorn is in Odessa on the Black Sea coast, where huge grain ships are stuck in port and unable to go anywhere.
He said Britain was discussing the decision with allies in Europe, such as Lithuania, and was considering sending warships to the area to force Russia to retreat.
“Last year, 400 million people were fed Ukrainian grain,” he said, but now any ship trying to leave the ports is at risk of attack.
In other events:
• About 20 countries will send new security assistance packages to Ukraine
• President Zelensky says he is ready to exchange prisoners with Russia “tomorrow”
• Russia rejects application for Expo 2030 in Moscow because “it cannot count on a fair and impartial assessment”
• Russia’s Defense Ministry says its forces have struck at weapons depots in the Donbas, where American-made M777 howitzers are stored
Attacks are intensifying in Donbass
Heavy fighting is taking place in the eastern Donbass of Ukraine, where Russian forces have intensified bombing over the front line, according to the British Ministry of Defense.
Moscow is facing fierce opposition from Ukraine to its efforts to encircle the area around the city of Sevrodonetsk and consolidate Russian control over the Luhansk region – Russia’s main but not the only effort in the campaign to seize Donbass, the ministry said.
Cities not controlled by Russia have come under constant fire, and one Ukrainian official said Russian forces targeted civilians trying to flee.
Russia is seeking to seize the eastern industrial territory of coal mines and factories and has made some local successes, the defense ministry said at its daily intelligence briefing, but Ukraine’s long-running joint operation is likely to retain effective command and control of the front.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said that “Russia’s brutal and unprovoked war against Ukraine was the cause of human catastrophe.”
Speaking at the opening of the Quad summit between the leaders of the United States, Japan, Australia and India, he said: “It seems to me that Putin is trying to destroy culture.
“He is no longer even aiming for military purposes, he is destroying every school, every church … as if trying to destroy Ukrainian culture, and the world must fight this, and we.”
On Monday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for “maximum” sanctions against Russia over the Russian oil embargo, a complete cessation of trade and the withdrawal of foreign companies. He stated this in a video message at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Zelensky later said four rockets killed 87 people last week in the town of Desna, 34 miles north of Kyiv, as a result of one of the deadliest single strikes in the war.