Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Truss accuses Putin of ‘weaponising hunger’ with Ukrainian grain blockade

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has accused Vladimir Putin of seeking to ‘hold the world to ransom’ through Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian grain exports (Armin Durgut/AP)
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has accused Vladimir Putin of seeking to ‘hold the world to ransom’ through Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian grain exports (Armin Durgut/AP)

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has accused Vladimir Putin of seeking to “hold the world to ransom” through Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian grain exports.

The Cabinet minister rejected a demand by the Russian president for the lifting of international sanctions on his country in return for opening a humanitarian corridor to allow shipments to resume through the Black Sea port of Odesa.

Around 22 million tonnes of grain are reportedly stuck in Ukraine – one of the world’s biggest wheat producers – as a result of the Russian naval blockade.

Speaking during a visit to Bosnia Herzegovina, Ms Truss said the UK will work with allies to get as much as possible out of the country, amid fears of food shortages in some of the world’s poorest countries.

“It is completely appalling that Putin is trying to hold the world to ransom. He is essentially weaponising hunger and lack of food among the poorest people around the world. We simply cannot allow this to happen,” she said.

“Putin needs to remove the blockade on Ukrainian grain. We will do all with our allies and partners to get the grain out of Ukraine and supply the rest of world.

“What we cannot have is any lifting of sanctions, any appeasement, which will simply make Putin stronger in the longer term.”

Bosnia Britain Truss
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss at a press conference with Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic in Sarajevo (Armin Durgut/AP)

At a joint news conference in Sarajevo with her Bosnian counterpart, Bisera Turkovic, Ms Truss announced a new support package for the western Balkans, aimed at mobilising 100 million US dollars (£80 million) of UK-backed investment in a bid to counter Russian influence in the region.

She said Moscow’s interference in Bosnia Herzegovina threatens a return of the civil war which tore the country apart in the 1990s.

“What we are seeing today in this country are signs of Russian interference which risks plunging us back into those dark days. This must be stopped,” she said.