Farm ministers from the Group of Seven major developed countries on Friday accused Russia of threatening global food supplies by invading Ukraine, a major agricultural producer, and driving more people into starvation.
In a joint statement released after an online meeting, the G-7 ministers also vowed to ensure food supplies to the Ukrainian people and support its agriculture industry while sharing concerns about Moscow's military attack since Feb. 24, causing further rises in food prices.
"We are deeply concerned about the impacts on food security and the rising number of people suffering from hunger and all forms of malnutrition, caused by the unprovoked and unjustifiable Russian war of aggression," they said.
"This will only increase the suffering in the region and put pressure on food security globally."
The situation is also adding to "the already severe situation caused by COVID-19, climate change and biodiversity loss," the ministers said.
The ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union, joined the virtual gathering.
The supply concerns could accelerate the "already high prices for agricultural commodities" and affect "food security and nutrition for vulnerable countries and populations," given that Ukraine is the world's fourth-largest wheat supplier and produces half of global sunflower oil exports, they said.
"The G-7 nations need to cooperate in taking initiatives to keep food supplies, especially those to developing nations dependent on imports, from getting stacked up," Japanese farm minister Genjiro Kaneko told reporters after attending the talks.
Ukrainian farm minister Roman Leshchenko, who also participated in the meeting, was quoted by Kaneko as saying that Ukraine has lost its ports to ship agricultural products overseas, and diesel oil for farming machinery has been diverted to military purposes.
They also agreed on the need to ensure "the ability of Ukrainian farmers to feed their population" while pledging to "do what is necessary to prevent and respond to a food crisis, including with humanitarian aid."
The talks come as Russia's military attack has led to a surge in the global price of grain.
"I want to contribute to discussions so that the G-7 nations can convey a strong message that will help maintain the fluidity of the global food market during this crisis," Kaneko told a press conference earlier in the day.
Russia and Ukraine together account for about 30 percent of the world's total wheat exports.
Japan does not procure wheat from the two nations but relies on imports mainly from the United States and Canada for around 85 percent of its domestic wheat consumption, according to the Japanese farm ministry.