‘Weapons in, wheat out’ – hypocrisy of some Western countries further exposed in Ukraine crisis
Published: May 17, 2022 10:38 PM
Canada's Foreign Minister Melanie Joly attends the Foreign Affairs Council meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels on May 16, 2022.Photo: AFP

Canada's Foreign Minister Melanie Joly attends the Foreign Affairs Council meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels on May 16, 2022.Photo: AFP

Western countries, particularly the US, used to make all efforts to seize strategic resources like oil. Now, as grain becomes increasingly sought after and strategic, the West has once again demonstrated its greedy and evil nature.

On Monday, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said the West must act quickly to help Ukraine export its growing grain stocks in response to the worsening global food crisis. 

"Millions of tons of grain are stuck in silos in Ukraine," she said. "We need to make sure that we free Ukrainian wheat and that we send them to European ports to be shipped."

Ukraine is known as the "breadbasket of Europe." Information services provider IHS Markit estimated that Ukraine was the second-largest supplier of grain for the European Union (EU) in 2021, accounting for 14 percent of total EU grain imports. 

To protect its "breadbasket," the European Commission on Thursday announced the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes strategy to "unblock borders with Ukraine and boost capacity on road and rail routes to export Ukrainian grain," according to the European edition of Politico.

Ukraine is also an important grain exporter in the world. A Reuters article in January claimed Ukraine in recent years has shipped more than 40 percent of its corn and wheat to the Middle East or Africa annually. The United Nations (UN) has also confirmed that the Russia-Ukraine war is hurting poor countries importing grain.

A Chinese scholar told the Global Times there is no doubt that what Joly urged favors the West more than the world.

"By helping Ukraine 'free its wheat,' some Western countries try to address its food shortage. They can take advantage of Ukraine's misfortune to buy more food at relatively lower prices. Such type of 'looting' reveals the West is self-centered and mercenary in terms of the Ukraine crisis," the Chinese scholar said.

The worsening world food crisis is partly because the West has been intensifying the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. In the opinion of the above-mentioned expert, what the West is doing will enable Ukraine to profit more economically. Some Western countries hope this may protract the war until Russia loses.

While calling for the "rescue" of Ukrainian wheat, some Western countries continue to ship weapons to Ukraine. For example, Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of the "free Ukrainian wheat" advocator country Canada, announced new arms and equipment for Ukraine after he visited Kiev on May 8.

"Weapons in, wheat out" only proves how hypocritical some Western countries are. "They only accept victory and profits, not even a bit of failure or loss," said the Chinese expert.

Under such a principle, the West must satisfy itself at the expense of others.

Look what happened to Ukraine which plays the role as West's proxy in its ongoing war with Russia. The West claims to support and sympathize with Ukraine, but its actions are harming the East European country in disregard for Ukrainians' lives.

The problem of Ukrainian grain exports needs to be solved urgently. 

But the coordination work should be carried out by international organizations, such as the UN. And as the initiator and catalyst of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, certain Western countries are not qualified to make such an appeal. 

Instead of urging to "free Ukrainian wheat," it should focus on how to end the war completely as soon as possible so that the evil consequences of their behavior will stop harming the globe.