Foreign Secretary James Cleverly to accuse Putin of 'weaponisation' of energy and food

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has criticised Vladimir Putin for the "weaponisation" of food and energy.

Credit: PA
James Cleverly is set to criticise Vladimir Putin of being willing to “hold the world’s vulnerable hostage”. Credit: PA

The Foreign Secretary is to urge the UK's international allies to unite against Vladimir Putin's "weaponisation" of energy and food.

James Cleverly will warn other G7 foreign ministers that the Russian leader is plunging the world's poorest "further into despair", as he speaks at a meeting in Germany on Thursday.

Food price inflation hit 11.6% in October, largely caused by the war in Ukraine and rising energy costs.

The foreign secretary is set to stress the need to work together in the face of economic insecurity driven by Moscow’s war on its neighbour.

President Putin is "plunging the world’s poorest further into despair", the Foreign Secretary said. Credit: AP

The Foreign Office said he will accuse the Russian president of exploiting a scheme to export grain from Ukraine to low-income countries around the globe – claiming this shows his willingness to “hold the world’s vulnerable hostage”.

Ahead of the meeting in Munster on Thursday, the foreign secretary will call for joint action to curb reliance on Russian energy at the Berlin Process Summit on the Western Balkans.

Mr Cleverly said: “While we are steadfast in our support for Ukraine, we must not forget that the impacts of Russia’s aggression, interference and hostility extend across the world.

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“Putin’s actions are plunging the world’s poorest further into despair, putting global food security on the brink and pushing up energy prices.

“These actions only serve to demonstrate Putin’s true intentions and further unite the international community against his callous plans.”

The G7 group is also expected to discuss the protests in Iran, stability in the Indo-Pacific and the role of China on the global stage.

Germany has also invited Ghana, Kenya and the African Union to join the G7 meeting to discuss collaboration on issues such as climate change and humanitarian crises.