European Council calls on Russia to unblock Ukrainian grain exports

On Tuesday 31 May, the second day of its special meeting, the European Council discussed security, defence and food security.

Kuvassa vasemmalta oikealle Charles Michel, Mette Frederiksen, Sanna Marin
Picture: European Union

Government Communications Department 31.5.2022

The European Council strongly condemns Russia’s destruction and illegal seizure of Ukrainian agricultural products. The EU leaders called on Russia to stop its attacks on Ukraine’s transport infrastructure and to allow the export of foodstuffs via the Black Sea ports. The Union is supporting Ukrainian agricultural production and working to facilitate food exports from Ukraine through various land routes and ports. 

“It is important to begin transporting the grain stored in Ukraine out of the country quickly. This would also help to improve global food security. We must be prepared to respond to increasing humanitarian needs, especially in fragile states and the least developed countries,” said Prime Minister Sanna Marin.

The European Council calls for effective international coordination to ensure global food security. The FARM (Food & Agriculture Resilience Mission) initiative aims to improve the resilience of food production and agriculture, particularly in Africa. The EU also supports the UN’s Global Crisis Response Group and the establishment of a global food security alliance. The Union is committed to maintaining free world trade in foodstuffs, strengthening solidarity with the most vulnerable countries and increasing sustainable local food production. 

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has also brought about a significant change in the Union’s strategic environment and highlighted the need for a stronger and more capable EU in the field of security and defence. With this objective in mind, the EU will implement the Strategic Compass, strengthen its partnerships, improve its resilience and increase its security and defence capabilities by enhancing investments. Transatlantic relations and EU-NATO cooperation play a key role.

Inquiries: Jari Luoto, State Under-Secretary for European Affairs, tel. +358 50 468 5949, Tuulia Pitkänen, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 295 160 231, and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office

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