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G7 agriculture ministers have called on all countries to keep their food and agricultural markets open as food security concerns rise following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“We call on all countries to keep their food and agricultural markets open and to guard against any unjustified restrictive measures on their exports. Any further increases in food prices and volatility in international markets could threaten global food security and nutrition, especially among the most vulnerable living in low food secure environments,” they said in a joint statement.

“We nevertheless recognize the extreme circumstances behind the export restrictions announced by the Ukrainian government and the vital importance of preserving the availability of food in Ukraine,” they added.

The G7 is made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In the statement, the agriculture ministers also condemned Russian aggression against Ukraine and expressed their solidarity with the country.

The ministers expressed their concerns about the impacts on food security and “the increasing number of people suffering from hunger and all forms of malnutrition, caused by the unprovoked and unjustifiable Russian war of aggression, in addition to the already serious situation caused by COVID-19, climate change and loss of biodiversity.

“We call on international organizations to support food production in Ukraine during this crisis and to ensure food security in the affected areas. We remain determined to do what is necessary to prevent and respond to a food crisis, including through humanitarian assistance, and we are ready to act. as needed to deal with potential disruptions,” the ministers said.

Ukraine’s government bans exports of key agricultural products, including wheat, corn, grain, salt and meat, according to a cabinet resolution passed on Tuesday.

Russia is the world’s largest exporter of wheat, and Ukraine is also a major exporter of wheat and corn.