Don’t use Ukrainian wheat ‘as a weapon of war,’ Pope says

‘Lives of millions’ are at risk, ‘especially in poorest countries,’ due to blockade, warns Pope Francis.

Don’t use Ukrainian wheat ‘as a weapon of war,’ Pope says

Pope Francis on Wednesday called for the urgent unblocking of Ukrainian ports to allow the resumption of wheat exports and stave off a global humanitarian crisis.

Speaking during his weekly audience in St Peter’s Square, the leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics expressed “great concern” for “the blockade of grain exports from Ukraine, on which the lives of millions of people depend, especially in the poorest countries.”

“I earnestly appeal for every effort to be made to resolve this issue and to guarantee the universal human right to food. Please do not use wheat, a staple food, as a weapon of war,” Francis insisted.

Ukraine is one of the world’s leading producers of grain, but its production and export capacity have been seriously compromised since Feb. 24, when Russia launched war on it.

Efforts are ongoing to broker a deal between Kyiv and Moscow to allow grain to be exported again via the Black Sea, involving the UN, Türkiye and the EU, but not much progress has been made so far.

Hüseyin Demir