25.05.2022 10:00

Western countries accuse Russia of using the food crisis as a weapon

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25.05.2022 10:00

More and more world leaders are realizing that the war is affecting not only Ukraine but virtually the entire world, including its global food security.

We suggest that you read the thoughts of some famous figures on this topic.


Ex-ambassador: Putin wants to provoke refugee crisis


Rüdiger von Fritsch said: "With new streams of refugees, he wants to destabilize Europe and build up political pressure." This is "a new hybrid warfare".

The long-standing German ambassador to Russia, Rüdiger von Fritsch, accuses Moscow of using the global supply crisis caused by the Ukraine war and the resulting threat of refugee movements as a means of warfare. "Vladimir Putin is deliberately trying to create hunger crises in the Middle East and North Africa," von Fritsch said in the Berlin Tagesspiegel (Sunday edition) about the Russian head of state. That is why Russia is preventing Ukraine from exporting grain and even bombing grain silos.

Source: Berliner Zeitung


US accuses Russia of weaponising food in Ukraine crisis and holding global supplies ‘hostage’


The United States has accused Russia of holding the world’s food supply hostage amid growing fears of famine in developing countries, as a former Russian president warned that the Kremlin would not release vital grain shipments without an end to western sanctions.

Speaking at a UN security council meeting on Thursday, US secretary of state Antony Blinken demanded that Russia lift its blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports and enable the flow of food and fertiliser around the world.

“The Russian government seems to think that using food as a weapon will help accomplish what its invasion has not – to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people,” he said at the meeting called by the Biden administration.

“The food supply for millions of Ukrainians and millions more around the world has quite literally been held hostage by the Russian military,” he added.

Source: The Guardian


Wheat becomes a weapon


With the war of aggression against Ukraine, the Russian power elite wants to get rid of an unpleasant competitor on the agricultural market, believes Dr. Oleksandr Perekhozhuk of the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO). In his guest article, he analyses the motivations.

In the middle of Europe, a war is raging, which the Russian president, with the approval of the Russian parliament - the Duma - started on February 24, 2022 at 4 a.m. against the sovereign and democratic state of Ukraine. Many are wondering today how this could have happened in the centre of Europe? Why is the Russian president trying to overthrow the democratically elected government in Ukraine, occupy the free and sovereign state of Ukraine and destroy Ukrainian statehood? What motivates the Russian president to barbarically bomb and fire rockets at civilians in Ukrainian cities?

Many experts and politicians agree that the Russian president wants to occupy Ukraine and install an obedient pro-Russian government in Kiev. As a scholar whose research has focused on industrial economics, international trade, market structure and price formation on national and international agricultural and food markets, and in particular the use of market power and price discrimination by Russian grain and fertilizer exporters, I see that the Russian president and his oligarch servants want to achieve much more. As a scientist, I feel obliged to warn the whole world and especially the politicians in the EU and the USA, as well as in countries of the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and to explain the real reasons for Russia's war against Ukraine.

Russia has both a political and an economic interest in the occupation of Ukraine, which from the point of view of the Russian president and the Russian oligarchs can be described as a "solution" to the geopolitical question.

Cutting Ukraine off from the Black Sea

With the occupation of southern Ukraine, the Russian president and The Russian oligarchs will now be able to assert their economic interests. If Ukraine loses its lands in the south, it will also lose free and direct access to the world market. In this case, Russia would be able to control all Ukrainian wheat exports. If Russia were to control all grain trade in the Black Sea region, Russia could use grain as a new "food weapon." The "food weapon" is more dangerous than "natural gas weapon" or "oil weapon", even more dangerous than Russian missiles or bombs.

Consequences for Africa, the Middle East and Asia

This is exactly what I warn politicians in the EU and the USA, as well as in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The price elasticity of energy demand is more elastic, and as energy prices rise, alternative solutions for energy supply can be found. The price elasticity of demand for food, especially bread cereals, is less elastic and inelastic even in poorer regions of the world. First, it is difficult to find alternatives to bread cereals. Secondly, looking at the geography of wheat exports of the three countries of the Black Sea region, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, it becomes clear that these three countries export to the most populous regions of the world: Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Food as a weapon

The barbaric bombing and missile attacks on the civilian population in Ukraine make it clear that Russia will definitely exploit its position in the world grain market and seize the opportunity to use the export trade in wheat as a "food weapon". This could have several consequences.

  1. First, grain export prices could rise, as could natural gas and oil prices.
  2. Second, with a "food weapon," Russia could more easily control the loyalty of many governments in Africa, the Middle East, or Asia or even govern them.
  3. Thirdly, it cannot be ruled out that Russia could trigger an artificial world food crisis or even an artificial famine in different parts of the world. This could lead to mass migration of people from the poorer regions of the world, which would pose even greater social, political and economic challenges for the whole world.

Source: agrarzeitung


EU's von der Leyen says Russia is using food supplies as a weapon


Russia is using food supplies as a weapon with global repercussions, acting the same way it does in the energy sector, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the annual World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, she said "global cooperation" was the "antidote to Russia's blackmail."

"In Russian-occupied Ukraine, the Kremlin's army is confiscating grain stocks and machinery (...) And Russian warships in the Black Sea are blockading Ukrainian ships full of wheat and sunflower seeds," von der Leyen added.

Source: Reuters




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