Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) has expressed reservations about the Ukrainian demand for the delivery of western fighter jets. She referred to the previous attitude to the establishment of no-fly zones. “We have already clearly positioned ourselves for the delivery of flight materials,” said Baerbock at the beginning of consultations with colleagues from the other G7 countries in Weißenhäuser Strand on the Baltic Sea.
The federal government and NATO are strictly opposed to the establishment of a no-fly zone over Ukraine, as it is feared that enforcing it could lead to a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia. Then there would be a risk that the war in Ukraine would escalate dramatically.
During her visit to Kyiv this Tuesday, she “speaks about how we can support Ukraine, above all in terms of its ability to defend itself, without helping NATO to become a participant in this war,” said Baerbock.
During talks in Berlin, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had recently called for the delivery of Western fighter jets and missile defense systems to defend his country against Russia. This Friday, Kuleba is supposed to take part in the meeting of the G7 foreign ministers on the Baltic Sea.
In addition to Kuleba, Moldova’s Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu will also attend the meeting on the Baltic Sea from time to time. There are fears that Ukraine’s small neighboring republic could be Russia’s next target.
Another important topic for the G7 on Thursday was Ukraine’s grain exports. The G7 want to ensure that Ukraine can remain a major grain exporter despite Russia’s war of aggression.
They are discussing together how to break the grain blockade imposed by Russia and how to bring Ukrainian grain into the world, said Baerbock on Thursday in Weißenhäuser Strand on the Baltic Sea. Currently, 25 million tons of grain are blocked in Ukrainian ports, especially in Odessa, because of the war.
Germany currently chairs the G7 group. In addition to the Federal Republic, the group includes the NATO states USA, Canada, France, Great Britain and Italy as well as Japan.
The grain is urgently needed in African countries and the Middle East, said Baerbock. A food crisis is brewing in the sky, which is being exacerbated by the global climate impact.
Ukraine is one of the most important grain suppliers worldwide. In 2021, according to figures from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, it was still the third largest exporter of barley and fifth largest exporter of wheat.
Shortly before Baerbock, the EU Commission had already warned of a dangerous situation. “20 million tons of grain have to leave Ukraine in less than three months,” said EU Transport Commissioner Adina Valean in Brussels.
The grain threatens to block the deposits that would be needed for the next harvests. Ukraine is currently unable to export as it used to because of the Black Sea ports blocked by Russia. For this reason, the EU Commission now wants to facilitate overland transport – that is, by road and rail
Ukraine also accuses Russia of looting Ukrainian grain stores and bringing or destroying agricultural products into its own country. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday that he expects a record wheat harvest this year and wants to increase exports. Russia is one of the largest grain producers in the world with an important role in world nutrition.