Alternative ways are urgently needed to get wheat out of Ukraine, either by road or rail, as Russia cannot be allowed to use food as a “weapon of war”, MEP Colm Markey has said.

Some 20 million tonnes of wheat are currently stuck in Ukraine due to the Russian blockade in the Black Sea, according to the Fine Gael MEP for the Midlands North-West.

Russian military aggression against Ukraine is having a dramatic effect on global food security, according the European Council.

Speaking ahead of a special meeting of EU leaders in Brussels, MEP Markey said:

“The war in Ukraine is leading to a further deepening of global food insecurity and the repercussions are already being felt at home and in some of the world’s poorest countries.”

The MEP said he hopes an agreement will be reached on tackling global food insecurity at the two-day special meeting of EU leaders in the European Council.

EU leaders will discuss concrete ways to help Ukraine export its agricultural production and coordinate multilateral initiatives in Brussels today (Monday, May 30) and tomorrow.

International coordination and ensuring a comprehensive global approach in terms of food security will also be on the agenda, according to the European Council.

Oil imports from Russia

The council will also review progress in phasing out the EU’s dependency on Russian fuel, oil and coal imports as soon as possible.

Speaking ahead of the EU summit, the MEP, while acknowledging economic consequences, has called on EU leaders to immediately ban all oil imports from Russia.

The EU pays an estimated €265 million to Russia for oil every day, however, leaders have a moral responsibility to do the right thing and deny Putin the revenue he needs to fund the brutal war in Ukraine, the MEP said.

“Last April, I joined my Fine Gael colleagues in the European Parliament to vote for an immediate full embargo on Russian imports of oil, coal, nuclear fuel and gas, accompanied by a plan to ensure the EU’s security of energy supply.

“We must act now to cut ties with the Russian regime and speed up the transition to renewables,” MEP Colm Markey said.