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G-7 agrees Russia is responsible for global food crisis

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi joins a meeting of Group of Seven foreign ministers online from Tokyo on June 24, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Japanese Foreign Ministry)(Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations agreed Friday that Russia's war in Ukraine, a breadbasket of the world, has triggered the current global food crisis.

    The ministers cited Moscow's blockade of Ukrainian grain exports via ports on the Black Sea for further exacerbating food shortages, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters after virtually attending a meeting held in a hybrid format in Germany.

    The food supply issue has been negatively affecting African and Middle East countries, which are highly dependent on grain imports from Ukraine.

    The G-7 agreement came as Russia has claimed the food shortages, which have caused global food prices to soar, stem from economic sanctions slapped on Moscow by the G-7 members and other Western countries.

    Some African states believe such a "narrative" by Russia, according to Hayashi.

    "We agreed to express clearly that (the food crisis) is caused by Russia's aggression in Ukraine," which began in late February, he said.

    Hayashi also pledged to support efforts by the United Nations and the European Union to help Ukraine resume exporting grain.

    The meeting paved the way for a three-day G-7 summit starting Sunday in Schloss Elmau in southern Germany.

    The G-7 comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union.

    Friday's session preceded a foreign ministerial meeting of the Group of 20 major economies slated for July 7 and 8 on the Indonesian island of Bali, with the planned participation of the Russian foreign minister.

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