Fri 20 May 2022:
In statements to the UN Security Council on Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Western sanctions on Russia are not driving food hunger around the world.
“Sanctions aren’t preventing Russia from exporting food and fertilizer, sanctions imposed by the United States and many other countries deliberately include carve outs for food for fertilizer and seeds from Russia,” Blinken said.
The United States is working with countries to inform them about exemptions from the US sanctions against Russia to allow the flow of food products, Blinken added.
Ukraine is a key global grain producer, accounting for 9% of the world’s wheat exports, 13.5% of corn and 70% of sunflower products.
The United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) has said the Ukrainian crisis has triggered a price spike on key staples in the diet of most families in the heavily import-depended middle East, “putting basic food items beyond the reach of the most vulnerable.”
On February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on the request of the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics to help defend them from attacks by Ukrainian troops. The Russian Defense Ministry said the special operation solely targets Ukraine’s military infrastructure and aims to demilitarize and de-Nazify the country.
In response, the United States and its allies have imposed comprehensive sanctions against Russia and provided Ukraine with offensive and defensive weapons.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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