Tory MP warns ‘Ukraine fatigue’ could worsen UK crisis
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Tobias Ellwood told Sky News’ Kay Burley that if Britain and the West become otherwise distracted from Ukraine, there could be “huge ramifications” for global food supplies and, indeed, the “food crisis here in the UK”. He observed that Ukraine is “not in the headlines anymore” as domestic issues and political battles dominate the agenda, but issued a stark warning that to suffer from “fatigue” would afford Putin the upper hand and could allow Russia to “push to the West”.
Mr Ellwood said: “There is almost Ukraine fatigue creeping in here.
“It’s not on the headlines anymore, indeed, and we are seeing Russia command and control what is going on.
“If they consolidate what is going on in Odessa and then push to the West, then there is a chance that Odessa could fall.
“That would have huge ramifications for the feeding of Africa and, as I say, the food crisis here in the UK.
“We must act. We must get the UN General Assembly [to act] and it is very clear that this is what Ukrainians want.”
Missile attacks in Black Sea coastal regions over the past few days have raised doubts about whether Russia will stick to a deal to let Ukraine export grain.
A Russian missile attack on the Ukrainian port of Odesa occurred over the weekend before a spokesman for the military administration said another missile had hit the Odesa region on Tuesday morning.
The United Nations said, however, that the first ships from Ukraine may set sail in the next few days under the deal agreed last week.
East of Odesa, along the Black Sea coast, port infrastructure at Mykolaiv was also damaged by an attack, according to the mayor Oleksandr Senkevich.
Soaring energy costs and the threat of hunger faced by millions in poorer nations show how the biggest conflict in Europe since World War Two, now in its sixth month, is having an impact far beyond Ukraine.
European Union countries are set to approve on Tuesday a weakened emergency proposal to curb their gas demand as they try to wean themselves off Russian energy and prepare for a possible total cut-off.
And in further suggestions of Russia taking advantage of divided attention, Russian energy giant Gazprom, citing instructions from an industry watchdog, on Monday said gas flows to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would fall to 33 million cubic metres per day from Wednesday.
That is half of the current flows, which are already only 40 percent of normal capacity.
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Prior to the war, Europe imported about 40 percent of its gas and 30 percent of its oil from Russia.
The Kremlin says the gas disruption is the result of maintenance issues and Western sanctions, while the European Union has accused Russia of energy blackmail.
Adding to concerns on the energy front, the Ukrainian state pipeline operator company said Russian gas giant Gazprom without prior notice has increased pressure sharply in a pipeline that runs through Ukraine to deliver Russian gas to Europe.
Such pressure spikes could lead to emergencies including pipeline ruptures, and pipeline operators are obliged to inform each other about them in advance, the Ukrainian company said.
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