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Prolonged Ukraine war may result in brutal global hunger

Biden, Ukraine, Ukrainian, Russia

Oped

Prolonged Ukraine war may result in brutal global hunger

While Joe Biden and a number of his Western counterparts are enthusiastically pushing forward their agendas of turning Russia’s special operations in Ukraine into a war between Washington and Moscow, several experts are seeing the horrific time for the world where a brutal global hunger may appear killing hundreds and thousands of people due to acute hunger. And Joe Biden does not have any remedy for solving this imminent crisis. Instead, he is focusing on intensifying the war in Ukraine with the rogue agenda of somehow salvaging his party’s disastrous result during this November’s midterm elections.

Ukraine is currently unable to export about 90 million tons of agricultural products, as Russia has blocked Ukrainian ports, its Prime Minister Denys Shmygal told local media. The country produces a significant share of world food – about 27 percent of its sunflower seeds, 5 percent of its barley, 3 percent of its wheat and rapeseed, and 2 percent of its corn.

Russia is the largest exporter of wheat in the world. Although it has the ability to export grain, it also faces problems due to sanctions and its own requirements.

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock claimed skyrocketing food prices worldwide are the result of Russia pursuing a hybrid war strategy

However, Moscow immediately hit back by blaming Western sanctions for the spike.

“Russia made a conscious decision to turn the war against Ukraine into a ‘grain war’”, the German minister insisted. This, she alleged, is now affecting a wide range of states, especially those in Africa.

“There is a threat of brutal hunger”, she said.

“We must not be naive about this”, Baerbock warned. “It’s not collateral damage, it’s a perfectly deliberate instrument in a hybrid war that is currently being waged”.

She said the countries of the G7 wanted to look for alternative ways of delivering grain from Ukraine to the world.

Earlier in the week, the US State Department tweeted: “While Ukraine used to export up to five million tons of grain per month, shipments have all but stopped due to the Kremlin’s blockade of Ukrainian ports”. Washington claimed that such actions put “millions at risk of famine”.

Responding to the German foreign minister’s comments, Moscow accused the West of causing the spike in food prices.

“Prices are rising due to sanctions imposed by the collective West under pressure from the United States. This is if we talk about the direct reason. Failure to understand this is a sign of either stupidity or deliberate misleading of the public”, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote in her Telegram channel.

According to the diplomat, the threat to Ukraine’s statehood is also the work of the West. “Ms. Baerbock’s predecessors are also involved in it, who not only interfered in the situation in this country, but modeled Ukraine’s domestic and foreign policy in manual mode”, she wrote.

Commenting on the forecasted cruel global hunger, Vladimir Kornilov wrote in Ria Novosti:

“The world will look into the eyes of starvation because of the consequences of the crisis in Ukraine”. Annalena Burbock, who hosted the event, summed up the three-day meeting of the G7 foreign ministers with such a not at all optimistic phrase. Of course, Russia is solely to blame for all this.

Speaking about the need to urgently unblock the port of Odessa, the head of German diplomacy added: “We should not be naive. This is not collateral damage; this is an absolutely deliberate instrument of the hybrid war that is currently being waged.”

The fact that Russia is allegedly provoking the world food crisis has recently been not talked about only by the lazy in the West. If we summarize all the “arguments” that sound in support of this thesis, we get the following mutually exclusive statements and actions of the West:

The rise in prices for world products is the result of hostilities in Ukraine. Therefore, we must continue these actions indefinitely, supplying weapons to the Kyiv regime.

Ukraine is one of the largest suppliers of grain, and the impossibility of supplying Ukrainian grain provokes its shortage. Therefore, it is necessary to block cargo from Russia, which is an even larger supplier of grain in the world.

Because of the actions of Russia, a terrible famine is inevitable in Ukraine itself. Therefore, it is urgent to export grain and food from Ukraine to the West.

Russia blocked the supply of grain by sea to Africa and Asia , which are threatened with a terrible famine. Therefore, it is urgent to block Russian merchant ships so that Russia cannot deliver its grain to potential famines.

Blocking the seaport of Odessa, where millions of tons of grain have accumulated, is unacceptable. Therefore, let’s repair Ukrainian military equipment in Romanian ports and deliver it by sea to the same Odessa. And at the same time, it is necessary to support the mining of the port by Ukrainian troops in order to repel a potential attack by Russia.

This is not exaggeration, not a joke. Such statements are heard everywhere, and often contained in the same speeches, articles, TV shows. For example, the head of the Ukrainian regime, Volodymyr Zelensky , repeatedly managed to include mutually contradictory theses on the topic of the food crisis in the same nightly stand-up. He is constantly crying about the unenviable fate of African countries, where Ukrainian grain allegedly blocked by Russia will not reach. But he immediately calls in his speeches: “It is necessary that all Europeans block the ports for all Russian ships.” That is, the fate of starving Africa suddenly recedes into the background.

Immediately after the aforementioned summit of the G7 top diplomats, Zelensky decided to support their conclusions about the famine threatening the planet, and said in another nightly address: “The world has already recognized that the Russian blockade of our ports and this war are provoking a large-scale food crisis. Russian officials are also openly threatening world that there will be famine in dozens of states. And what could be the consequences of such a famine? What kind of political instability, what migration flows will it lead to? How much then will have to be spent to overcome the consequences? Packages against Russia.

We consciously present this “masterpiece of logic” from yesterday’s comedian in its entirety, without cuts, without dots. Let’s leave Zelensky’s words about “threats from Russian officials” on Zelensky’s conscience – apparently, he mistook Burbock for a Russian official, because her words about world hunger, quoted above, were heard exactly on the day of this stand-up from a professional comedian. But linking the food crisis to the call for new sanctions against Russia does not bother either Zelensky or many other Western officials. How the blockade of Russian goods and the call for other countries to join this blockade can alleviate the crisis, not exacerbate it, none of them explain.

It is no coincidence that Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, responding to Burbock’s words about global hunger, explained to her: “Prices are rising due to sanctions imposed by the collective West, under pressure from the United States. This is if we talk about a direct reason. Failure to understand this is a sign of either stupidity or intentionally misleading the public. But in the West (not to mention Ukraine), the very notion of cause and effect seems to be cursed. Anyone who tries to start a conversation about this is immediately declared a “Kremlin agent”.

The President of the United States, speaking to American farmers last week, again blamed the rise in food prices on Russia and agreed that Ukraine is fighting for the opportunity to “feed those who are left hungry around the world because of Russian atrocities.” Judging by Biden, for the Kyiv regime, the goal in itself is to reduce world food prices. That is, not their own benefit, not the break-even of their farms, but the holy mission to feed the planet.

Moreover, the US President in this speech went for an outright falsification, saying that Ukraine is the number one supplier of wheat in the world, and Russia allegedly ranks second. Which, of course, is not true. But even if this statement is accepted, it would be logical to call on the world to ensure unhindered market access for Russian goods in order to mitigate the price shock and prevent famine in Africa. But no, according to Biden, only Ukraine should feed the hungry, and in no case Russia, which is actually the absolute leader in grain exports. Apparently, bread from the “grains of Ukrainian freedom” turns out to be more satisfying than from the “grains of Russian autocracy.”

That’s what the collective West is trying to do, coming up with schemes for the maximum export of Ukrainian grain abroad. Europe loudly announces plans to create “grain corridors” for Ukrainian agricultural products. Moreover, for the sake of this, she is ready to take an unthinkable step – the creation of such corridors through Belarus, for the transport blockade of which the same Europe called for long before the Ukrainian crisis. Only one thing stops them: the fear that Ukrainian grain, passing through Belarus, will end up not in Klaipeda, but in Russian ports. And it does not matter that further it will still achieve the holy goal declared by Europe, that is, it will feed the starving Africa. But then, after all, this grain will become “totalitarian”, and, as you know, no one can be fed with it.

As a result, the European Commission has spawned an extensive plan to create “Roads of Solidarity” (Solidarity Lanes) in order to maximize the use of EU infrastructure for the speedy transportation of Ukrainian grain to Europe. These efforts have especially intensified against the backdrop of concerns about the food security of the EU itself due to the drought in France. Quite capaciously and figuratively, the Russian military commander Alexander Kots commented on the initiatives of Europe: “The essence of these Solidarity Lanes ultimately boils down to the fact that the Ukrainians will be left without food, and the government of the country with money. But, as usual, Putin will be to blame for everything.”

And here we come to the most amazing paradox of all these howls of the collective West and Ukraine that joined it about the coming world famine. Western analysts sometimes don’t even notice that they want to blame Russia for all the troubles and problems, how they manage to squeeze accusations against us in the same article about the fact that we allegedly block the export of grain from Ukraine and create preconditions for famine there.

The Financial Times, for example, has already resorted several times to analogies with the “Stalinist famine of the 1930s,” known in Kiev as the “Holodomor.” The newspaper, citing Ukrainian officials at various levels, stated that Russia’s plans include organizing food shortages and a new famine in Ukraine. We were even accused of allegedly illegally exporting Ukrainian grain to… Asia and Africa. Wait, so Russia’s goal is to create famine in these regions or still feed them? Western propagandists somehow got confused in their desire to accuse Russia.

However, if they really believe in the threat of a food crisis in Ukraine as a result of hostilities, then it would be more logical to make every effort to keep its grain reserves in place. Otherwise, it really turns out to be a tracing-paper from the tragic events of 1932-1933, to which Ukrainian and Western critics of Russia so love to refer their audience. It is now in the West that the famine of those years is blamed solely on Stalin and “forgets” about how the trading companies of the same West demanded that the USSR not reduce grain exports, knowing full well about the problems with food in our country. Moreover, the United States even tried to insist that Moscow reduced the area under crops, realizing what problems this could lead to. But now only the Soviet leadership is blamed. What an analogy with the modern period!

Or let’s remember the German occupation of Ukraine. As soon as the Germans captured this territory in the spring of 1918, echelons with grain moved westward, which eventually led to a terrible famine in Ukraine. Absolutely the same situation was repeated in 1941, when the Ukrainian SSR was captured by the Nazis. Then the Germans sought to take out not only grain, but also black soil. At that time, the Ukrainians themselves were dying of hunger, but did enlightened Europe ever worry about the problems of the natives it colonized!

And now we are again seeing how trains are moving westward, exporting grain from Ukraine, at a time when Western analysts themselves recognize the real prospect of food shortages in this country. If the famine really begins, then none of them will remember the European Commission’s plans for a large-scale export of grain or Biden’s similar calls. Since the person responsible for all the future troubles of Ukraine has already been appointed – and this, of course, is Russia. No matter how much Moscow brings in humanitarian supplies with food and no matter how much Ukrainian wheat leaves for the West, we will still be blamed for the famine.

Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

Meanwhile, according to another report, Western banks are looking for asset swaps to exit Russia. It said, in an attempt to escape hefty write-downs on operations in Russia due to their exit from the sanction-hit country, UniCredit and Citigroup are exploring the possibility of swapping assets with Russian banks, FT reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The plan comes amid a mass exodus of foreign lenders from Russia due to Western sanctions imposed on the nation over its military operation in Ukraine. According to estimates revealed last week, European banks took a hit of nearly US$10 billion writing down assets and setting aside cash to protect themselves against the expected economic ramifications of anti-Russia sanctions.

UniCredit is discussing the sale of its Russian business to several financial institutions that haven’t been sanctioned by the West, people briefed on the talks told the media.

The Italian lender, which could lose €5.3 billion (US$5.5 billion) due to its exit, reportedly rejected the offer by Interros group, the investment business owned by Vladimir Potanin, one of Russia’s richest men who has not been included on the sanctions list.

Interros has already acquired several businesses, including Rosbank, a subsidiary of French Societe Generale, as well as a 35 percent stake in highly rated fintech firm TCS from Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov. Meanwhile, Citigroup is holding “multiple conversations” with medium-sized Russian banks to sell its consumer operations and part of its commercial undertakings in the country, a person familiar with the matter said. A sale to a non-sanctioned entity, rather than an asset swap, is reportedly preferable for American multinational banking groups.

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Sohail Choudhury is the Executive Editor of Blitz

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Retired442

    May 18, 2022 at 02:41

    Now that Britain the Globalist EU start to feel the hunger pains they may soon begin to reach out to Russia for a ceasefire in Ukraine.
    Russia has probably reached most of it’s military objectives will agree!
    This may also be the beginning of the end for Bretton Woods world financial dominance from London Brussels!!!

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