Europe, Russia-Ukraine War

Germany still reluctant on sending combat jets to Ukraine

G7 to discuss ending Russian blockade of Ukrainian wheat exports and preventing a global food crisis, foreign minister says

Oliver Towfigh Nia   | 12.05.2022
Germany still reluctant on sending combat jets to Ukraine

BERLIN

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Thursday once again expressed reservations about Ukraine's demand for the delivery of Western fighter jets.

At the beginning of a meeting of the foreign ministers of the G7 in Germany's northern town of Weissenhaus, Baerbock referred to the previous position on the establishment of no-fly zones.

We have already “positioned ourselves clearly when it comes to (the delivery of) flight material," the minister told media representatives.

Germany 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 as then there would be a risk that the war in Ukraine would escalate dramatically.

Meanwhile, Baerbock stressed that the G7 group wants to ensure that Ukraine can remain a major grain exporter despite the Russian war on the country.

She pointed out that the G7 meeting in Weissenhaus would also focus on how to unblock the Russian grain blockade imposed against Ukraine.

Currently, 25 million tons of grain are blocked in Ukrainian ports, especially in Odesa, because of the war, Baerbock said.

The grain is urgently needed in African countries and the Middle East, said the minister.

A food crisis is brewing on the horizon, which will be exacerbated by the global climate impact, she added.

Ukraine is one of the most important grain suppliers worldwide.

According to figures from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the country last year was still the third-largest exporter of barley and fifth-largest exporter of wheat.

The German foreign minister and her G7 counterparts on Thursday evening are set to discuss the effects of the Russian war on Ukraine.

The G7 talks will also dwell on China's role and the situation in the Indo-Pacific.

The meeting will also focus on the situation in Afghanistan, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as the joint fight against the climate crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.

The foreign ministers of Ukraine and neighboring Moldova, which fears becoming Russia's next military target, have also been invited to attend as guests.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi will join the meeting via video link. Indonesia currently chairs the G20.

This Saturday, the meeting will switch to informal consultations among NATO foreign ministers in Berlin where the situation in Ukraine is likely to be the focus again.

Germany currently chairs the G7 group which includes the US, Canada, France, the UK, and Italy, as well as Japan.

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