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“[Western sanctions] will drive food prices even higher” – Dire warnings from Russia’s Vladimir Putin

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Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2022. 5:29 pm CST.

Photo Courtesy: Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS/File Photo

By Aaron Humes: Apparently unfazed by tightening sanctions on himself, his family and his country, Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the consequences of those sanctions will be hardest on the poorest regions of the world.

Reuters reports that Putin told a meeting on food production this week, that “[The sanctions] will inevitably exacerbate food shortages in the poorest regions of the world, spur new waves of migration and in general drive food prices even higher,” adding that higher energy prices and shortage of fertilizer would prompt richer Western countries to print money to buy up supplies.

Putin further stated that Russia must keep a close eye on its food exports to hostile countries because the West’s sanctions had fomented a global food crisis and spiraling energy prices, calling a fertilizer shortage on the global market “inevitable” in the current conditions, after former President and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned last week that Russia could provide supplies of agriculture products to “friendly” countries only.

In addition to oil and natural gas, Russia is the world leading exporter of wheat, mainly to Africa and the Middle East; and major producer of potash, phosphate and nitrogen containing fertilisers, producing more than 50 million tonnes a year, 13 percent of the global total.

According to Putin, sanctions had disrupted logistics for supply from Russia and Belarus, while rising prices for natural gas was making fertilizer production more expensive in the West.

Putin also warned European states that Moscow would retaliate on attempts to nationalize Russian assets, calling it “a double-edged weapon,” a day after Germany said its energy regulator would take control of Gazprom Germania, a gas trading, storage and transmission business which Russia’s Gazprom said it was exiting last Friday, and as Britain considered temporarily taking over Gazprom’s British retail supply arm.

Putin continues to insist that Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine which started on February 24, is necessary because the United States was using Ukraine to threaten Russia and Moscow had to defend Russian-speaking people in Ukraine from persecution. Ukraine has dismissed Putin’s claims of persecution and says Russia is fighting an unprovoked war of aggression.

 

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