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Putin’s Ukraine food blockade risks global starvation

Vladimir Putin risks starving people around the world if he continues to blockade Ukrainian food exports, the UK Government has warned.

Defence minister Jeremy Quin told MPs there is a “significant risk to starvation on a global basis” due to Russia’s actions, and the UK is trying to assist efforts to free vital food supplies.

Liam Fox, Conservative former defence secretary, accused the Russian president of echoing the tactics of Joseph Stalin by using famine as a “weapon of war”.

Britain has said it has “no current plans” for Royal Navy warships to help break the Black Sea blockade but several MPs pressed the Government to coordinate action.

Conservative former minister Andrew Murrison told a Commons debate: “The blockade of Odesa is of extreme seriousness.

“Unless those silos are emptied in the next few weeks, there’ll be nowhere for the harvest to go and tens of thousands of people in some of the most vulnerable countries throughout the world will starve – with all the geopolitical consequences that will bring.

“That means, does it not, that we need to lift that blockade in Odesa as a matter of urgency. What are we doing to provide, for example, Harpoon missiles to ensure that the ships that are currently blockading Odesa are dealt with and we can clean up the Black Sea so that mines are not posing a threat?”

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