EU warned of new ‘waves of migration’
The EU should prepare for new “waves of migration” amid the food security crisis fueled by the Ukraine conflict, Aija Kalnaja, the newly appointed interim director of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, also known as Frontex, warned on Monday.
Speaking to reporters in Prague, Kalnaja noted that the EU is “well prepared for refugees coming from Ukraine.”
“At the same time, we have to prepare also for refugees coming from other areas because of food security. You probably know that grain transport from Ukraine is hampered and that will create waves of migration,” she said.
Last month, Spanish newspaper El Pais quoted a 27-page internal EU report on the potential consequences of the Ukraine conflict. It included a warning of “a catastrophic famine” facing North Africa.
Hunger might trigger “new waves of social protest, internal displacement and migration to neighboring regions and possibly towards the EU,” the report said. If this scenario plays out, Spain and Italy will be at the forefront of the exodus, according to the paper.
Kiev and Western nations have accused Russia of blocking food exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, allegedly contributing to surging global food prices. Moscow denies the allegation, saying it has been offering safe passage to freighters, while Ukraine is preventing civilian ships from leaving the ports, including Odessa. Russia also says Kiev’s deployment of sea mines has created a threat to shipping in the area.
Moscow has accused the West of pushing the global economy towards crisis. In late March, Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned Western politicians’ “questionable approaches and actions” in their economic, energy, and food policies. These approaches, Putin said, have led to disruptions of production and logistics chains, the rise in global inflation, increased inequality, a decline in the living standards of millions of people, and mass famine in the poorest countries. He also said the food crisis will inevitably be followed by another wave of migration, primarily to European countries.