14 Jul 2022

Russia 'responsible' for ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka: Ukraine's Zelenskyi

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has accused Russia of inciting unrest in Sri Lanka and around the world by blocking food products during the invasion of Ukraine.
One of the main tactics used by Russia in its invasion of Ukraine is to create an "economic shock," Zelenskyy said, adding that several countries suffering from food and fuel shortages due to supply chain disruptions are benefiting from Russia's program.

During a recent speech at the Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul, he highlighted the crisis in Sri Lanka and went on to say, “The shocking increase in food and fuel prices has led to a social explosion. No one knows how it will end now.'

The war in Ukraine has left an estimated 1.6 billion people in 94 countries exposed to at least one dimension of financial, food or energy crisis, with about 1.2 billion living in "perfect storm" countries severely vulnerable.

Amid ongoing protests, Sri Lanka's now-incumbent President Wickremesinghe resigned as prime minister amid escalating violence and protests in the country.

Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, coming on the heels of successive waves of COVID-19 that have threatened years of development. Notably, the lack of oil supply has forced schools and government offices to close until further notice. Reduced domestic agricultural production, a lack of foreign exchange reserves, and the depreciation of the local currency fueled the shortage.

In addition, due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the increase in hunger has only increased since the beginning of the war. The number of severely food insecure people has doubled from 135 million before the pandemic to 276 million in just two years. The ripple effects of the war could push that number to 323 million.

Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) during a recent summit also discussed the impact of the Russian war on food and energy supplies, including the global economy, and said the bloc is committed to supporting Ukraine in the production and export of grain, oil and other agricultural products. . They called on Russia to unconditionally stop its attacks on agricultural and transport infrastructure and allow free passage of agricultural shipping from Ukrainian Black Sea ports.

A recent agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine will break a months-long blockade of grain supplies via the Black Sea, UN Secretary-General Guterres said in a statement that he called a critical step forward in ensuring safe and secure exports. Ukrainian products.

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