- On Tuesday, Reuters reported Putin said would lead to a global food crisis.
- He added that the Kremlin may export only to countries that are friendly with Russia.
- A Russian official last week called food a “quiet weapon” in the fight against Western sanctions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said sanctions imposed by Western nations would lead to a global food crisis, Reuters reported.
Putin said higher energy prices and fertilizer shortages would mean Western nations would have to print more money to buy supplies, which would cause food shortages in poorer countries.
“They 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,” Putin said in a meeting on developing food production, Reuters reported.
Putin also suggested Russia wouldn’t export food to countries “hostile” to it.
“We will have to be more careful about food supplies abroad, especially carefully monitor the exports to countries which are hostile to us,” Putin said, according to Reuters.
Last week, Dmitry Medvedev, a former Russian president and a senior security official in the country, also said Russia “will not supply our products and agricultural products to our enemies.”
That measure would be in retaliation for sanctions, Medvedev said in a message on his Telegram channel, adding that food was a “quiet weapon”
“We will supply food and crops only to our friends,” he said.
Both Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of wheat and corn. Russia accounts for almost 17% of global supply of wheat, which makes it the largest exporter of the crop, according to an ING report. Ukraine accounts for 12% of wheat supplies and 17% of corn supply.
A World Bank spokesperson previously told Insider’s Urooba Jamal that “the war in Ukraine comes at a bad time for the world.”
“Poor and vulnerable everywhere were already suffering from high inflation and rising food prices, exacerbated by higher energy costs and trade restrictions,” the spokesperson said. “Shortages of these commodities and broad-based increases in prices could add to inflation pressures and food in security.”