Comment of Ukraine’s MFA on Russia’s attempts to use food exports as a weapon

On April 1, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev threatened the world community with restrictions on the Russian export of agricultural products to “unfriendly” countries.

We would like to emphasize that the official representative of Russia openly referred to food exports as a weapon. Thus, it reaffirmed the status of Russian Federation as an aggressor not only in the military and energy sectors, but also in the food dimension.

This statement is another evidence of Russia’s destructive actions, which violate the basic principles of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – to achieve food security and to defeat hunger. The intentions of the Russian side also undermine the ability of the world community to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Such policy of the aggressor state questions the expediency of its membership in FAO and other international organizations.

It is worth mentioning the fact that the statement of the former president of the Russian Federation is full of factual errors and deliberate manipulations. For example:

  • in 2020, Russia imported at least $6.82 billion worth of food and agricultural products from the EU, the US and Canada (not “nothing”, as stated by the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation);
  • in terms of grain production, Russia is outgone not only by China and India, as according to Medvedev, but also by the United States, the EU and Brazil;
  • the Russian Federation includes in the list of “unfriendly” countries its own competitors in the food market;
  • if Russia redirects its trade flows from one country to another, it will in no way affect the global grain balance and market saturation.

What does really affect the world food prices, and will affect even more dramatically in the next season is the Russia’s blockade of the shipments from the Ukrainian ports, the planting of mines along sea routes, the impeding of sowing campaign in Ukraine due to hostilities and deliberate destruction of the Ukrainian agricultural machinery and infrastructure.

We call on the international community to condemn Russia’s actions, to demand withdrawal of its troops from Ukraine and the end to the blockades of the Ukrainian ports, to strengthen economic sanctions in order to stop armed aggression against Ukraine, to prevent further humanitarian catastrophe and worsening of world hunger.