During an interview with Rossiya-1, Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “We see attempts to shift the blame for what is happening on the food market on Russia, but this is an attempt to pin the blame on someone else.” He said that the problems that global food market issues started well before the war in Ukraine - and were actually caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Vladimir Putin has claimed that European legislators and their short-sightedness, started the energy crisis; adding that Russia is ready to take necessary measures to protect itself from a global food crisis.
Vladimir Putin’s top aide Maksim Oreshkin predicts that a “global famine” will occur before the end of the year.
Oreshkin said that: “It is important that in the conditions, for example, of a global famine that will occur closer to autumn, by the end of this year all over the world, Russia should not suffer, but be fully provided with food.”
Oreshkin said that one of the main causes for inflation was the Federal Reserve’s decision to overprint the dollar back in 2020; he has also claimed that actions taken on Ukraine by the Biden administration have had a significant impact.
Both Ukraine and Russia supply roughly 30% of the world’s wheat; therefore, sanctions caused a near 60% percent increase in the price of wheat. The aide’s claims are also backed up by the head of the Bank of England; who has also said that: the cost of living crisis in the U.K. - which is due to enter a recession by the end of the year - is being exacerbated by the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The list of people who are concerned about the potential famine are increasing by the day. The world renowned journalist and TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson - who is known for his role in TopGear - has said that the global food crisis will cause cannibalism, and that many farmers are letting their fields go fallow.
“The problem is that next year many farmers will decide that, because of the costs involved, they’ll use less fertiliser,” he wrote. “Some will doubtless try to use none at all. Others will try to use cardboard or lawn clippings or faeces instead. Either way they will produce less food. Some farmers — I know of three in my area alone — have already decided to fallow their fields next year and grow nothing at all.”
Putin has also proclaimed that Ukraine’s role as a food commodity exporter is not as important as the West believes. He claimed that: “The world produces about 800 million tonnes of grain and wheat per year. Now we are told that Ukraine is ready to export 20 million tonnes. 20 million tonnes compared to the 800 million tonnes the world makes is 2.5 percent of that figure. But if we proceed from the fact that wheat makes up only 20 percent of the total food supply (and this is the reality, these are not our figures but those of the UN) this means that these 20 million tonnes of Ukrainian wheat make up 0.5 percent.”
Putin views the decision of Western nations to penalize Russian producers of fertilizer as a “short-sighted, stupid and erroneous policy,” which is “leading to a dead end.” He then warned that these sanctions would further damage the world’s fertilizer market - which would send food prices through the roof.
The Russian President then stated that Western countries miscalculated possible alternative energy sources, adding that Brussels’ “short-sighted” decisions are the main reason for skyrocketing prices.
Russia was also accused of blocking wheat from being exported out of Ukrainian sea ports; prompting Lithuania to call for a naval coalition to export the wheat out of the country. Putin denied these claims and said that the cheapest way to get exports out of the country would be through Belarus.
Putin then said that Ukraine should remove its underwater sea mines so that Grain can be safely exported out of the country; he stated that Russia was clearing zones under its control and will be striving to secure the transport of goods as well as the safe passage and entry of vessels into sea ports. According to the President of Russia, foreign ships are trapped in Ukraine’s ports with their crew being held hostage.
Putin then said that: “In the current agricultural year of 2021-2022, we will export 37 million tonnes, and in 2022-2023 I think we will raise this to 50 million tonnes.”
Watch the full interview: