Russia must be disarmed if it uses food as weapon, says UK ambassador

Russia is stealing Ukrainian grain, exporting it to Russia from a port in occupied Mariupol (pictured)
Russia is stealing Ukrainian grain, exporting it to Russia from a port in occupied Mariupol (pictured)

The memory of the Holodomor should prompt the world to take decisive action to prevent Russia from using food as a weapon, UK Ambassador to Ukraine Martin Harris said at a special event at the Kyiv Security Forum dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the 1932-33 Holodomor artificial famine.

“Some people find it hard to imagine a regime that uses food as a weapon. But this is what we observe after the cessation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” Harris said.“Russia destroyed 280,000 tons of grain in one month. This grain would have been enough to feed a million people for a year.”

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The ambassador noted that the tactic of using food as a weapon is not new and has been employed before, including during the famines in Ukraine in 1932-1933 and 1946-1947.

“Our memory drives us to action. If food is used as a weapon, we must stop it — we must disarm Russia. We need to ensure and guarantee that Ukrainian grain reaches those who need it,” Harris said.

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The ambassador also underscored the importance of documenting crimes committed during Russian aggression against Ukraine. He recalled the story of the UK journalist Gareth Jones, who visited Ukraine during the Holodomor of 1932-1933 and informed the world about these tragic events.

“Gareth Jones said it is important to create a catalog of testimonies of crimes. And I’m proud that today we’re supporting the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people in creating a catalog of evidence of Russia’s crimes during this brutal invasion in Ukraine,” Harris said.

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