“Millions of people around the world will die because these ports are being blocked,” Beasley told CNN during a conference on Thursday.
Beasley, a former Republican governor of South Carolina, warned that the ports must be operational within the next 60 days or Ukraine’s agriculture-centric economy will implode.
“If you don’t get this port issue resolved and open, Ukraine’s economy completely collapses,” Beasley said at the SABEW conference in New York. “It becomes landlocked like Moldova. The ports are critical.”
“Guess what?” Biden said while visiting a farm in Illinois Wednesday. “If those tons don’t get to market, an awful lot of people in Africa are going to starve to death because they are the sole supplier of a number of African countries.”
Weaponizing food and energy?
Asked if Russia is similarly weaponizing food, the UN’s Beasley said that would be the case if the ports are not swiftly reopened. “Two plus two is four,” he said.
But unblocking the ports won’t be easy. Not only are they defended by mines and battleships, Beasley said Ukraine’s military is concerned that reopening them will allow Russia to pull a “quick move” and invade Ukraine through its ports.
While emphasizing that he’s the “humanitarian guy,” the UN official called for an “understanding” within the international community that they will do “what’s necessary to protect” the ports from being “invaded.”
“World leaders have got to put pressure on Russia in such a way that we can have absolute neutrality to move supplies in and out of Odessa,” Beasley said.