Odessa Blockade

Lifting the Odessa Blockade.

Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Unsplash.

The Association of World Citizens (AWC) urges action to lift the blockade on Odessa and other Black Sea ports; so that grain and other food resources can resume to flow. Ukraine has a vast agricultural base producing 46 percent of the world’s sunflower exports; and 10 percent of the world’s wheat exports. The Middle East and Africa are Ukraine’s food export market. Odessa has a large grain terminal; in which vast quantities of food exports are now stuck. It is not physically possible to transport large quantities of grain; by rail and road.

In part due to this blockade; food prices for grain have risen some 20 percent; hitting especially the poor. In some parts of Africa; due to climate conditions and armed conflict; there are near famine conditions. New food supplies are urgent.

 

Odessa Blockade

Odessa, Ukraine Port.

Russian authorities have said that they were ready to provide a humanitarian corridor for ships carrying food; but only in return for the lifting of U. S. and Western European sanctions. However; the Western sanctions have a multitude of sources. The lifting of the Odessa blockade and renewed grain shipments must be treated as a single issue; although it is obviously colored by the whole armed conflict.

There are diplomatic efforts underway; led by the African Union and the United Nations. It is urgent that speedy progress be made. Nongovernmental organizations may be able to play a creative role; as many NGOs are already involved in ecologically-sound development projects in areas under agricultural and food stress. The AWC; concerned with the resolution of armed conflicts through negotiations in good faith; appeals for creative diplomatic measures; so that the blockade is ended as soon as possible.

 

Prof. René Wadlow is President of the Association of World Citizens.

 

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