US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby told CNN on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin “absolutely has weaponized food” in his invasion of Ukraine.
Kirby said the administration of US President Joe Biden and partner nations are working to overcome an export blockade that’s causing a global food shortage.
“It absolutely has weaponized food — Mr. Putin has weaponized food, and we are working hard with the international community and the UN to find ways to be able to get that grain out there and on the market where it belongs,” Kirby told CNN in an interview.
Russia’s export blockade, Kirby acknowledged, “is going to have a global impact.”
“We’re going to feel some of that probably here as well, which is why we’re working so hard on trying to find out find alternative routes to get some of that grain out,” he said.
Earlier this week, CNN reported Russia’s war in Ukraine could push up to 49 million people into famine or famine-like conditions because of its devastating impact on global food supply and prices, per UN estimates.