Russia limits exports of grains to ex-Soviet republics

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Russia has introduced restrictions on the export of grains, of which it is a major supplier, to four former Soviet countries to secure domestic supplies and avoid a spike in prices.

“Russia is introducing a temporary ban on the exportation of grains to the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union,” the government’s press service said in a statement late on Monday.

The EEU is a Moscow-led trade club of ex-Soviet republics, which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

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The Russian government also said it would stop exports of “white and raw cane sugar to third countries.”

The restrictions on grains exports expire on June 30 and those on sugar on August 31, said the government, adding that the decision was taken “to protect the domestic food market given the situation of external restrictions.”

Western nations have imposed a panoply of sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine that make it difficult to import goods into the country.

The government’s decision provides for certain exceptions, including for humanitarian shipments, following approval by the agricultural ministry.

The Russian restrictions on grains exports include wheat, silage, rye, barley and corn.

Both Russia and Ukraine are major wheat exporters, and the conflict has already sent waves through global commodities markets and seen prices for grain climb precipitously.

The International Monetary Fund warned on Monday that the conflict could imperil global food security.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also warned Monday that the world must act to prevent a “hurricane of hunger and a meltdown of the global food system.”

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