Don’t kick Russia out of G20, says aid group, with eye on food crisis | world news

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russia’s exclusion from the Group of 20 major economies and other international institutions could slow efforts to deal with the deepening global food crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, a source told Reuters the head of German aid group Welthungerhilfe (WHH).

Mathias Mogge, chief executive of the group, which serves 14.3 million people with projects in 35 countries, said maintaining communication with Russia, one of the world’s largest wheat producers, was essential to cope with the crisis.

“Of course, Russia is the aggressor here, and there have to be sanctions and everything. But in a humanitarian situation like we have today, there have to be open lines of communication.” Mogge said in an interview this week.

Mogge’s comments come days after US President Joe Biden said he believed Russia should be removed from the G20, although experts say that is unlikely to happen given the lack of support. India, China and several other G20 members.

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February is driving up food prices around the world and causing shortages of staple crops in parts of Central Asia, the Middle East and South Africa. North, according to United Nations officials.

The war, which Russia calls a “special military operation”, has reduced shipments from the two countries, which together account for 25% of global wheat exports and 16% of corn exports, leading to a sharp rise in prices on international markets. .

Mogge said he expected Group of Seven leaders to address the issue in their upcoming meetings.

Russia was still part of what was then the Group of Eight during the last food crisis of 2007 and 2008, and played a constructive role in reducing world hunger, Mogge said.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Karishma Singh)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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