by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the ''Grain from Ukraine'' Summit

  • 26 Nov. 2022 -
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  • Last updated: 26 Nov. 2022 12:07

(As delivered)

President Zelenskyy, dear Volodymyr.

Thank you for hosting this inaugural Grain from Ukraine Summit,
which aims to ease to the food crisis,
and provide much-needed supplies to those most affected by hunger.

90 years ago, the Soviet Union’s horrendous Holodomor killed millions of Ukrainians.
Today, Russia is using hunger as a weapon of war against Ukraine.
And to create division and further instability among the rest of the world.
I strongly support the efforts of Ukraine and the international community to maintain deliveries through the Black Sea. 
This is vital.

In particular, I welcome the support of our NATO Ally Türkiye, together with the UN, to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
I saw the grain ships on the Bosphorus when I met President Erdogan recently in Istanbul.
They are getting food, grain, and fertilizers out of Ukrainian ports.
And to vulnerable people who urgently need it.

I also strongly welcome the efforts of NATO Allies and the EU to get supplies moving out of Ukraine over land.

We must all remember and explain the causes of this crisis. 
This food crisis is not caused by international sanctions on Russia.
It is caused by Russia’s reckless war against Ukraine. 

Russia has launched a full-fledged invasion of a sovereign democratic neighbour.
Trying to annex parts of Ukraine’s territory, 
in total disregard for the UN Charter and international law. 

Russia is carrying out massive deliberate attacks on civilians and critical infrastructure.
Including homes, hospitals, and power grids. 

For months, Russian forces blocked Ukrainian ports, stole grain, and agricultural equipment. 
And they continue to destroy agriculture and export facilities.

The war is horrific for tens of millions of Ukrainians, 
who are fighting the Russian aggressor to protect their homeland and freedom. 

It also has an impact on many others, across Europe and beyond. 
Including some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Russia is not only using bombs and bullets to threaten Ukraine’s freedom and sovereignty.
Russia is also using gas and grain as weapons to divide and destabilise us all.
NATO Allies are providing unprecedented financial, humanitarian and military support to Ukraine.
To help it prevail as a sovereign independent nation.
And we will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. 

We call on Russia to stop the war and withdraw its forces from Ukraine. 
This is the best way to achieve peace in Ukraine.
And to end this food crisis for the rest of the world.    

So thank you again, Volodymyr.
I wish you success for this Summit.
And strength to you and the people of Ukraine.