The European Union’s foreign affairs chief said on Monday Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian grain exports was a war crime and that he was confident the United Nations would reach an accord to resolve the crisis.

"I am sure that the United Nations will at the end reach an agreement," Josep Borrell told reporters ahead of the EU’s foreign affairs council.

"It’s inconceivable," he said. "We cannot imagine that millions of tons of wheat remain blocked in Ukraine while in the rest of the world people are suffering from hunger.

"This is a real war crime, so I cannot imagine that this will last much longer otherwise it will be something that Russia will really be accountable for. You cannot use the hunger of people as a war arm."