Putin instructs government to monitor food exports to ‘unfriendly’ countries

Russian president says he predicts global food crisis triggered by sanctions against Moscow.

Putin instructs government to monitor food exports to ‘unfriendly’ countries

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday instructed the government to monitor food exports to “unfriendly” countries.

Speaking at a meeting with government officials in Moscow, Putin said the situation in the global food market is "noticeably complicated," and continues to worsen.

"Mistakes in the economic, energy, and food policies of developed countries led to a sharp increase in food prices around the world two years ago. And the situation has only been getting worse in recent weeks,” he remarked.

Putin said the situation in the energy market was partly provoked by the " rough, non-market measures,” including “administrative pressure" on Gazprom company.

"We are witnessing another attempt by our partners to put their own mistakes in the field of economics and energy on Russia and solve the issues and problems arising in this regard again at our expense," he said.

The president warned against attempts to nationalize Russia's companies, saying it is "a double-edged weapon."

Putin said he expects a fertilizer shortage in the global market this year, and therefore a decrease in yield and attempts by the developed countries to outbid the food distribution will exacerbate food shortages in the poorest regions of the world, spurring new waves of migration and pushing global food prices even higher.

"It is clear that this year, in the conditions of a global food shortage, we will have to be more careful about food supplies abroad, carefully monitor the parameters of such exports to countries that are clearly hostile to us.

"I repeat, such a scenario is more than real, and we – you and I here in Russia – need to be ready for it. This means that it is necessary to minimize negative external effects for our citizens and to increase the production and supply of high-quality, affordable food products to the domestic market," he said.

On March 7, the Russian government issued a list of countries "taking unfriendly actions against Russia, Russian companies, and citizens," referring to the economic sanctions introduced amid the Russia-Ukraine war.

The list includes Ukraine, the US, Canada, EU member states, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Andorra, Great Britain – including Jersey, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar – Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Micronesia.

Hüseyin Demir

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