Russian pundits’ swipes backfire as Moscow handed dire economic forecast ‘Not immune!’

Russia: TV pundit discusses internal food supplies

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Russian state television pundits have rejoiced at the prospect of an international food crisis as supply chains are disrupted by Putin’s war in Ukraine. The television hosts celebrated claims of ample supplies within Russia as they suggested the rest of the world will struggle for resources. The presenters said Russia would help nations who “behave nicely”, likely meaning those who oppose the invasion of Ukraine will not receive any form of Russian assistance.

Editor in chief of Russian network RT, Margarita Simonyan said: “The whole world is worried there will be a food crisis, thank God, we don’t have to worry about that.”

Simonyan, a well-recognised face of Russian propaganda, suggested global nations will struggle as Russia withholds food supplies from nations who have denounced the actions of President Vladimir Putin.

She said: “We can even share with the world, with those in this world who will behave nicely. 

“To some we can sell, others we can simply help.”

The Russian television pundit claimed the nation had such abundant supplies of food that it could “simply help” allied nations without the need for profitable trade.

The state television host claimed the global food crisis was the result of drought and poor harvest conditions as she made no mention of the trade impact of Putin’s invasion.

Simonyan said: “Thank God, we can afford to do that because we had no drought, unlike India and the US, both of which had a drought this year, but we didn’t.

“We’re expecting a decent harvest – record harvest is planned.”

She continued to hail the strength of Russian food production as she claimed her nation would not be affected by the international battle for resources.

Read more: Satellite images show Russian grain theft as warships enter Black Sea

However, her claims were quickly rebuked by social media users, who pointed out that sanctions will make it harder for Russia to sell off its harvest.

User @putinahitler added: “It’s not going to be as easy to sell grain with the restrictions on banks etc.

“So Russian farmers will have to make up for it by raising prices domestically. Food made up around 7% of Russia’s exports in 2021, mostly to the EU and Turkey.”

@stormy_uk said: “Oh believe me, Russians will be facing higher prices in fact they already are.

“Just because they have grain doesn’t mean they will be immune to inflation.”

And @GoranV23 said: “Russia’s grain producing areas are neighboring eastern Ukraine which is war zone.

“They shouldn’t be so sure in record harvest while grenades and aircraft flares fly everywhere. Summer fires are already difficult enough to extinguish in peacetime.”

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Global food prices have rocketed since the invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s forces in February earlier this year.

Putin’s forces have targeted and blocked Ukraine’s key ports as part of their invasion strategy.

Russian control of the Ukrainian seaports has prevented the export of grain to the global market, creating international food shortages and forcing a global increase in food prices.

Speaking of the blocked exports, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “There could be a lot of hunger and, indeed, even famine.” 

Russia has been accused of weaponising food supply as the resource security of the global community is put at risk by Putin’s control of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products.

Speaking at a UN security council meeting, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “Food supply for millions of Ukrainians and millions more around the world has quite literally been held hostage by the Russian military.

“As a result of the Russian Government’s actions, some 20 million tonnes of grain sit unused in Ukrainian silos as global food supplies dwindle, prices skyrocket, causing more around the world to experience food insecurity.”

Vassily Nebenzia, the UN Ambassador to Russia, strongly denied allegations that Russia had intentionally caused a global food shortage and was restricting resources desperately needed by other nations.

He said: “The picture might be a pretty one, but it’s an absolutely false one.”

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