Russia made a conscious decision to expand the military war against Ukraine as a "grain war" to many countries in the world, especially Africa, said Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) at the end of the G-7 foreign ministers' meeting in the Weissenhaus in Schleswig-Holstein.

This threatens "brutal hunger," Baerbock explained.

In view of this "very deliberate instrument in a hybrid war" through which Russia wants to weaken international cohesion, "hesitance and procrastination" is not an option.

In addition to decisive action, however, perseverance is also required.

One has to be prepared for the fact that the fight against the global crisis caused by Russia will become a "long-distance race".

France Wittenbrink

Editor in Politics.

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According to Baerbock, the G-7 countries want to look for alternative rail routes to deliver grain blocked by Russia from Ukraine to the world.

After there were problems with rail transport via Romania due to the different track widths of the railways, exports via the Baltic ports were being examined, said Baerbock.

The focus of the deliberations under the German presidency was the global impact of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, in particular the threatening food shortages for the countries of the Global South.

Russian attempt at perpetrator-victim reversal

"We must prevent the effects of this war from plunging the world into an uncontrollable crisis," Baerbock said.

Normally five to six million tons of grain per month could be exported from Ukraine by sea.

This is hardly possible with a delivery by rail.

In view of the current situation, the G7 are still in agreement: "Every ton that is delivered can help a little to get this hunger crisis under control."

The situation is made more difficult by the fact that Russia is trying to reverse the perpetrators and victims with an “absurd disinformation campaign”.

“There are no sanctions against grain.

There are no sanctions against drugs or humanitarian aid,” Baerbock clarified.

In view of the fact that this narrative is finding fertile ground in parts of the world, one must take a clear stance against the manipulation of social debates.

During their joint deliberations, the G-7 countries therefore launched a new mechanism to give people in particularly affected countries access to free and independent reporting.

But it is also clear: "In many of these countries, we first have to earn trust."

If one wants to prevent Russia from dividing the world community with its narratives, "it will not be enough to convince with words," said Baerbock.

Humanitarian aid will therefore be made available quickly to the most threatened countries and regions in order to at least “massively contain” an acute famine.

Baerbock also announced the founding of a "Global Alliance for Food Security" to be launched at the upcoming meeting of G-7 development ministers.

Seizing Russian funds 'far from easy'

Addressing Ukraine itself, the Foreign Minister once again confirmed the continued delivery of weapons and funds.

However, she was disappointed when Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba demanded that Russian state assets be confiscated and made available to Ukraine for the country's reconstruction: "Access to frozen money is legally anything but easy (...)" , says Baerbock, adding that there are a number of good reasons for taking this path – but sanctions and such a step in particular must also stand up to German law and the European Court of Justice.

The Ukrainian foreign minister attended the G7 meeting in Weissenhaus together with the foreign minister of the Republic of Moldova.

During consultations with his counterparts, Kuleba had again pushed for the delivery of fighter jets.

However, Baerbock had also expressed reservations about this and referred to the previous attitude to the establishment of no-fly zones.

Baerbock says that the company has also “already clearly positioned itself” for the delivery of flight materials.