Russia rejects EU claims about role of sanctions in global food crisis

Moscow on Friday dismissed the EU's claims that its sanctions have played no part in aggravating the global food crisis by impeding crucial supplies from Russia.

A Foreign Ministry statement pointed out that top EU diplomat Josep Borrell and European Parliament lawmakers have acknowledged that the bloc considers Russian wheat exports 'a geopolitical tool or a political weapon' and intends to block them.

'Borrell has disavowed his own statement about the EU unilateral anti-Russian sanctions not being directed against Russian food and fertilizer supplies,' the ministry said.

It said obstacles created for Russian grain exports to global markets are 'not a side effect of the sanctions, but one of their goals.'

'The interests of the international community are ignored. The EU seeks to cause harm to Russia at any cost, even the cost of hunger in needy countries,' the ministry said.

The statement reiterated that EU sanctions have directly targeted agricultural and fertilizer production in Russia in a number of ways, including restrictions on mineral extraction and curbs on insurance and manufacturing of machines.

When it suits its interests, the EU uses legal language and other tactics to extract specific items from the sanctions, it added.

'However, it does not want to do so for Russia's agricultural exports to the EU, because its true goal is undermining Russia's position as the largest grain and fertilizer exporter,' the statement said.

EU 'misled international community'

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Borrell 'misled the international community' by claiming that the resumption of exports from Ukraine brought down global grain and food prices.

Prices only fell in the EU, not the entire world, the ministry asserted.

'The international 'humanitarian' mission that was supposed to help the poorest countries … (has been) nothing more than a commercial project serving the interests of Brussels,' the statement said.

'As European capitals admit themselves, the EU itself is the biggest beneficiary of the campaign to export Ukrainian grain,' it added.

The ministry warned that continuing statements by EU officials about food security risks and plans for more sanctions are triggering price hikes that 'will make food less and less affordable for people in needy countries.'

Source: Anadolu Agency