The lightness is lost: “The tourism association Mecklenburg-Vorpommern declares its solidarity with the Ukraine and the people who are no longer safe in their homeland and have to leave the country. The events shake us deeply,” says the association’s website. The typical image that north-east Germany once liked to advertise with now stands for the suffering of the people in Ukraine, reports the “Nordkurier”. Yellow cruciferous plants in summer weather are therefore reminiscent of the children who have to serve as security for the port city long lost to the Russians in the Mariupol steelworks. And that makes people sad, even depressed.
“Ukraine’s national colors, yellow and blue, actually stand for the great importance of the country as one of the most important producers of cereals and oilseeds such as sunflower and rapeseed,” said the Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP), an association that brings together various associations belonging to agriculture.
Of course, Putin’s war of aggression actually brought incredible suffering to Ukraine. Half the world could soon suffer from the consequences of the failure as a wheat supplier. A catastrophic famine is imminent. And another wave of refugees from the south that could even eclipse 2015.
Now Europe faces another challenge that goes far beyond Russia’s war in Ukraine. The two countries have a share of up to 30 percent in the international wheat and corn markets. If they fail as suppliers and cannot deliver due to the war, or if Russia also responds with counter-sanctions, grain will become scarce and millions of people will go hungry – the eXXpress has already reported.
Europe would not be directly affected. The EU can meet its grain needs itself. However, it will be problematic for North African countries in particular. But sub-Saharan countries would then also have to cope with an enormous increase in the prices for fertilizer and crude oil.
It is hardly possible to calculate exactly how many more people will suffer from hunger. Based on the experience of previous market fluctuations, some experts assume that there will be up to 100 million more hungry people. And Putin appears to be aggressively driving up prices. Stefan Lukas, Middle East expert at the University of Greifswald and guest lecturer at the Bundeswehr Command and Staff Academy, reports in the “Welt” about grain freighters that are blocked in the Black Sea or even fired at with rockets and sunk.