Russia Ukraine conflict

Putin says Russia will ‘monitor’ food exports to ‘hostile’ countries

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday Moscow would carefully “monitor” food exports to “hostile” nations as the West pummels the country with sanctions over its military action in Ukraine.

“Against the backdrop of global food shortages, this year we will have to be prudent with supplies abroad and carefully monitor such exports to countries that are clearly hostile toward us,” Putin said at a meeting on agriculture.

The Russian leader also said that the country’s food production “fully” covered domestic needs and urged officials to ramp up import substitution.

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“We need to set clear targets for import substitution and persistently pursue them in the very near future,” he said, referring to the country’s “potential” in agriculture, industry and science.

He also said it was important “to minimize the negative external effects” for Russians who should have access to “high-quality affordable food products, including fish products.”

“This is a key task for the current year.”

Developing and import-dependent countries have been heavily impacted by Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine - the two countries that account for more than a quarter of the world’s annual wheat sales.

Supply chain problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have quickly worsened since Putin sent troops to pro-Western Ukraine on February 24, further adding to the price of food.

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