Welcome to the Brussels Edition, Bloomberg’s daily briefing on what matters most in the heart of the European Union.
As weeks of war tick by, EU leaders are seeking solutions for an ever-more pressing issue: Ukraine’s escalating grain export challenges. “We have to act urgently” to prevent a food crisis, Ursula von der Leyen said in a speech at the Word Economic Forum in Davos yesterday, pointing out how Russia blocks Ukrainian ports and bombs harvest warehouses. President Vladimir Putin is “using hunger and grain to wield power,” spurring global market prices while Russia hoards “its own food exports as a form of blackmail,” she said. While the Commission chief proposes using EU ports to ship out the grain, other leaders have more direct suggestions. Estonian President Alar Karis told us that support is growing in Europe to send warships to the Black Sea to escort freighters carrying Ukrainian grain.