Putin warns sanctions on Russia could send global food prices soaring
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday Western sanctions on Moscow for its actions in Ukraine could send global food prices soaring, as Russia was one of the world's main producers of fertiliser, which is essential to global supply chains.
"Russia and Belarus are some of the biggest suppliers of mineral fertilisers. If they continue to create problems for the financing and logistics of the delivery of our goods, then prices will rise and this will affect the final product, food products," Putin said at a televised government meeting.
More than 2 million people have fled Ukraine since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion on February 24. Moscow calls its action a "special military operation" to disarm its neighbour and dislodge leaders it calls "neo-Nazis."
Most of those who fled are women and children, as able-bodied men have been ordered by the Kyiv government to stay home to fight.
The war has swiftly cast Russia into economic isolation as well as drawing almost universal international condemnation. The United States on Tuesday banned imports of Russian oil, while Western companies are rapidly pulling out of the Russian market.
European Union leaders will phase out buying Russian oil, gas and coal as Moscow's war on Ukraine makes them realise they have to be less dependent on Russia, a draft declaration showed, but they are unlikely to offer Ukraine the fast EU membership it seeks.