President of Ukraine

The world needs more determination and cooperation to stop the tyrant who tries to use famine as his tool – address of President of Ukraine to Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Conference participants

21 January 2023 - 18:00

The world needs more determination and cooperation to stop the tyrant who tries to use famine as his tool – address of President of Ukraine to Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Conference participants

Ladies and gentlemen!

I would like to greet everyone who believes that in the 21st century there must be no famine anywhere in the world. We in Ukraine do believe that.

Famine must forever remain in the past and cannot come back.

This must be a global goal!

The right for food – just like the right for clean water – should be a fundamental right of every human being. On every continent.

And anyone who tries to deprive people of food or water is an enemy not only to those, who are doomed to starve or suffer from thirst but also is an enemy to humanity.

We must defeat such enemies together!

Ukraine has always been and will always be a responsible participant in global food-market relations.

Even having suffered from terrorist aggression from Russia, we continue to supply food to the countries all over the world.

Although Russia has blocked our ports on the Black Sea, we have found a diplomatic way to resume exports. And I would like to express my gratitude to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Guterres and to the President of the Republic of Türkiye Mr. Erdoğan for their timely and effective participation, which resulted in the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

This brought millions of tonnes of Ukrainian products back to the world market.

Although Russia continues to launch missile attacks at our infrastructure, including ports and transport, and continues brutal battles in the regions that are extremely important for the agricultural production, Ukrainian farmers continue to cultivate the fields.

This is our moral constant – there must be wheat on fertile soil, not craters from explosions.

We also launched a globally important humanitarian initiative – Grain from Ukraine.

We attract the support from developed countries to buy grain and charter ships in order to supply humanitarian food to the countries, which suffer from the threat of famine most of all. And I express my gratitude to everyone who is implementing the initiative Grain from Ukraine with us!

Ladies and gentlemen!

I call on all of you to take this approach to global food security, based on morality and the need to protect the right of every human for food and water!

Before this war which is destroying our potential, including our agricultural potential, we exported six and a half million tonnes of food every month. Due to Russian aggression and actions to block our food exports, the shipments have been cut in half.

If we count all that not in tonnes, but in human lives, this will be at least two hundred million people in different countries on three continents – Africa, Asia, and Europe – who now have decreased access to food.

Right now, while the discussions at this Forum are going on, more than one hundred ships transporting food are lined up near the Bosphorus. Why? Because they need to be inspected, and Russian representatives are blocking this inspection. The ships are detained for weeks.

It means higher prices for Europe. For Asia, it means a growing threat of social instability. In Africa, for such countries as Ethiopia or Sudan, it means empty tables for thousands and thousands of families...

This means that the world needs more determination and more cooperation to stop the aggression that ruins the food market. To stop any state that blocks the sea and destroys food-supply chains. To bring to justice any tyrant who tries to make famine an instrument of political influence.

Is it possible to overcome famine? Yes.

Is it possible to guarantee food security? Yes.

Is it possible to stabilize food prices on the world market? Yes, it is.

But to do so, we need to punish the aggressors and to help countries on the edge of famine.

This is exactly what Ukraine is doing. This is exactly what our partners are doing.

I encourage everyone to join-in!

Join our initiative Grain from Ukraine. Join our initiative to create food hubs in Africa – in the regions that are critically dependent on food imports. Get involved in the implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula, which will stop Russian aggression and restore international law and order in Europe.

Thank you for your attention! And I invite you to Kyiv to make concrete arrangements!

Glory to Ukraine!