Ukraine - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:00 pm on 21 December 2022.

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Photo of Baroness Goldie Baroness Goldie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence 3:00, 21 December 2022

My noble friend is right that the export of grain is absolutely critical; it is instrumental to global food security. It has been a matter of profound regret that Russia was prepared to obstruct those grain exports, much of which is needed to feed the world’s hungry—and, in many cases, the world’s hungry poor. My noble friend makes an important point, and, as he is aware, the UK continues to support United Nations-led efforts to support the grain initiative, which is currently allowing grain to get out. Echoing what I said to the noble Baroness, Lady Bennett, we have to try to ensure that whatever is happening within Ukraine is predicated upon safe routes that may not be vulnerable to attack. That is one of the constant issues with which we contend. We are very conscious, as are our allies, about supporting the initiative; it has been a success and it is in everyone’s interest to ensure that it continues beyond March 2023. We urge Russia not to block its extension.