Cleverly to warn allies Putin is plunging world’s poorest into further ‘despair’

The Foreign Secretary will urge international allies to bolster resilience against Vladimir Putin’s “weaponisation” of energy and food, as he warns the Russian leader is plunging the world’s poorest “further into despair”.

Speaking at a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Germany, James Cleverly is set to stress the need to work together in the face of economic insecurity driven by Moscow’s war on its neighbour.

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”, the Foreign Office said.

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

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.

“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.”

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.