The UN chief said that Ukraine and Russia together produce almost a third of the world’s wheat and barley and half of the sunflower oil
The war in Ukraine could lead to a global food crisis, the UN chief has warned.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was in “intensive contacts” with Russia and other key countries and “hoped” for an agreement to resolve the issue.
He calls for the export of grain stored in Ukrainian ports and for ensuring that Russian food and fertilizers have full access to world markets.
However, Mr Guterres warned that “there is still a long way to go” to resolve the escalating food crisis, exacerbated by the war.
He said: “The complex security, economic and financial implications require the goodwill of all sides for a package deal to be reached.”
Referring to his talks with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, the US, the EU and others, he said: “I will not go into detail because public statements could undermine the chances of success.”
The UN chief said that Ukraine and Russia together produce almost a third of the world’s wheat and barley and half of the sunflower oil.
Russia and its ally Belarus are also the world’s second and third largest producers of potash, an important ingredient in fertilizers.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden commented on global uncertainty after announcing a record-breaking $40 billion aid package for Ukraine.
The package, which will see $5 billion of the money directed towards combating war-related insecurity, is the largest amount the country has given to Ukraine since the invasion began.
President Biden said he sent “a clear bipartisan message to the world” that the US would support the country in defending its “democracy and freedom.”
The US leader also met with Finnish and Swedish leaders Sauli Niinistö and Magdelena Andersson in Washington after the two countries submitted their bids to join NATO.
He said both Finland and Sweden “meet all the requirements – and then some” to join the defense alliance, adding: “New members joining NATO are not a threat to any nation, it has never been .
“NATO will be upgraded for all time”
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Here are the latest updates on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Last update: Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 9:49 p.m
The US announces a record-breaking aid package for Ukraine
US President Joe Biden has announced the country’s largest-ever aid package for Ukraine.
The US will hand over $40 billion in aid to the country, the largest sum sent to Ukraine since the war began.
President Biden said the newly announced aid package was “a clear bipartisan message to the world” that the US would support Ukraine in defending “her democracy and freedom.”
The package includes $6 billion for security assistance, $8.7 billion for US equipment to be sent to Ukraine and $5 billion to address global food insecurity as a result of the war.
Crushing footage shows Russian soldiers shooting unarmed Ukrainian civilians
Newly released CCTV footage allegedly shows Russian soldiers shooting dead two unarmed Ukrainian civilians.
It is believed to have been filmed during the height of the conflict as it was centered on Kyiv. Footage shows two Russian guards approaching a commercial area in the city.
Two Ukrainian men approach the soldiers with raised arms.
After moving away from the encounter, the Russian guards are seen returning and shooting the two men in the back.
Now the US has urged social media platforms not to remove such footage from their sites, even if it violates their posting policy.
US Democratic lawmakers said, “If this content is verified as authentic, it could help support allegations of war crimes and other atrocities committed by Russian forces against the people of Ukraine.”
Russia: Finland joining NATO will not help security in Europe
The Kremlin has said that Finland’s entry into NATO will not help stability and security in Europe.
Putin: Russia’s military action in Ukraine a ‘necessary response to Western policies’
Russian President Vladimir Putin has described Moscow’s military action in Ukraine as a forced response to Western policy.
Speaking about the Nazis at a military parade marking the former Soviet Union’s victory in World War II, Putin drew parallels between the Red Army’s fight against Nazi troops and the deployment of Russian forces in Ukraine.
He said the campaign in Ukraine is a timely and necessary step to ward off potential aggression.
The Russian leader added that troops are fighting for the country’s security in Ukraine and observed a minute’s silence to honor those who fell in battle.
The Russian President spoke at a Victory Day Parade in Moscow celebrating their victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.
US First Lady on surprise trip to Ukraine
US First Lady Jill Biden has met with her Ukrainian counterpart during a surprise visit to western Ukraine.
She later wrote on Twitter: “This Mother’s Day I wanted to be with Ukrainian mothers and their children. Far too many Ukrainians have had to flee their homes in recent months – forcing them to leave their loved ones behind.
“As a mother, I can only imagine the sorrow and fear they must feel every day at the unprovoked attack by Russia. I have seen firsthand how people in Slovakia and Romania have opened their homes, their schools, their hospitals and their hearts.
“Together we are united for Ukraine.
“I hope that by being here I can convey how much their strength and resilience inspires the world and remind them that they are not alone.”
Russia’s Victory Day, explained
Victory Day is Russia’s central national holiday and has an enduring meaning for ordinary Russians, many of whom carry portraits of their relatives who fought in the war.
While the annual event is always a mix of pride and patriotism for the Kremlin, this year there are also concerns about what President Vladimir Putin might say given his desire to make military advances as his brutal invasion of Ukraine falters .
Victory Day, May 9, was set as a priority for Russia early in the conflict, although Moscow has realized that a quick victory was impossible given Ukraine’s tight defenses.
Battle rages at the Mariupol Steel Plant
The Ukrainian military said it has retaken territory in the south and repulsed Russian attacks in the east, amid a battle raging at a steelworks in Mariupol – where Ukrainian troops have holed up in tunnels and bunkers to repel a Russian attack.
Ukrainian militants have been holding out at the sprawling Azovstal Steel Plant — the last pocket of resistance in a city otherwise controlled by Moscow’s forces.
“The enemy, with the support of aircraft, has resumed the offensive to take control of the plant,” Ukraine’s military general staff said on Thursday.
The video published on social media on Wednesday evening showed Russian airstrikes on the steel mill.
Ursula von der Leyen: “We ensure an orderly exit from Russian oil”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that ending the EU’s dependence on Russian oil “will not be easy, but we simply have to do it”.
This will be a total import ban on all Russian oil, sea and pipeline, crude and refinery.
We will ensure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly manner so that we and our partners can secure alternative supply routes and minimize the impact on global markets.
Mariupol evacuees ‘spoke of the hell they experienced’
Osnat Lubrani, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Ukraine, said evacuees from the besieged city of Mariupol spoke of the “hell” they experienced in the city.
For the past few days, traveling with the evacuees, I have heard mothers, children and frail grandparents speak about the trauma of living under relentless heavy shelling and fear of death day after day, and with extreme shortages of water, food and sanitation.
They spoke of the hell they have experienced since the beginning of this war, when they took refuge in the Azovstal plant, many were separated from family members whose fate they do not yet know.
PM: Threatening or attacking British diplomats in Ukraine is ‘completely unfathomable’
Boris Johnson said any threat or attack on British diplomats in Ukraine was “completely unfathomable”.
Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain about the British Ambassador, the Prime Minister said: “I am proud of our diplomats in Ukraine and of Melinda Simmons who is returning to open the embassy and she has done a great job.”
Mr Johnson added that threats against British diplomats were “completely unfathomable” and that there was “no justification for it”.
He said Britain “led the world in helping Ukrainians protect themselves against wanton aggression and barbaric aggression,” later adding that Britain also “made the world impose a very tough package of economic sanctions.” say goodbye”.
“We’re not saying we’re doing this to drive geopolitical change or to get a result in Moscow,” he said.
“We are concerned with the Ukrainian people and their suffering. It is completely unjustified that a free country like Ukraine should be overwhelmed and wiped out as it has been until now.”
https://www.nationalworld.com/news/world/ukraine-latest-un-food-crisis-mariupol-prison-3583546 Ukraine war: UN chief warns of possible global food crisis