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Canadian Foreign Minister Says West Must ‘Free Ukrainian Wheat’ – POLITICO

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said Monday that Western countries must act quickly to counter the worsening global food crisis by helping Ukraine export growing stocks of grain that cannot be shipped due to Russian invasion and blockade of ports.

“It is clear that for us what is happening now in terms of a potential food crisis is linked to Russia’s war against Ukraine,” Joly said in an interview for the next episode of POLITICO’s EU Confidential podcast, which will be released on Thursday. “But we need to do more to show African countries, Latin American countries, Middle Eastern countries and Asian countries that we are here to share solutions,” she said.

“Millions of tons of grain are stuck in silos in Ukraine,” Joly said. “We have to make sure that we release Ukrainian wheat and send it to European ports for shipment.”

Joly, who was in Brussels on Monday to attend diplomatic meetings with EU officials and ministers, said Canada, itself one of the world’s top grain exporters, was ready to send cargo ships as well as experts, including grain inspectors, to help Ukrainian stocks move to destinations around the world.

“We are willing to send Canadian container ships to ensure that the grain can then be sent to Egypt, Lebanon and many other countries,” she said. “And that’s one of the conversations I had intensely in the EU…especially with Romania.

Romania, due to its proximity to Ukraine and its own ports on the Black Sea, is a logical partner in trying to redirect Ukrainian grain supplies out of the war zone and into global shipping.

On Monday in Brussels, Joly took part in a meeting of the joint ministerial committee with EU foreign ministers as part of the meeting on the EU-Canada strategic partnership, and she also attended the meeting of the Business Council EU Foreign Affairs as a guest with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

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