The Russian media are spreading information that the West, in particular Great Britain, is allegedly forcing the Ukrainian authorities to arrange a food shortage and even another Holodomor, blaming Russia for this. The media report that Ukraine is actively planning to export to England the remains of agricultural products stored in the State Reserve. Russian media argue that agricultural exports to Europe should lead to famine in Ukraine.
In fact, that’s not so and it is not the export of agricultural products to Europe that can lead to famine, but Russia’s military actions in Ukraine. As for the export of agricultural products, we are talking about last year’s crop, which, according to the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal, are in excess and were planned to be exported until August. The same opinion was expressed by the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Mykola Solsky. According to him, there are 20 million tons of last year’s crop that had to be taken out this spring. This is, first of all, money for farmers, which they use for new sowing, rent and other needs. Even a partial resumption of exports is extremely important, since it ensures the flow of funds for the sowing campaign — the purchase of diesel fuel, seeds, fertilizers, plant protection products and for the payment of wages.
In fact, it is not the export of agricultural products to Europe that can lead to famine, but Russia’s military actions in Ukraine. Thus, a US official said that the Russians damaged at least six granaries in Ukraine. These are deliberate actions of the Russian Federation, because the granaries do not pose a threat to the Russian Federation, military equipment is not stored there. We are talking about food security not only in Ukraine, but throughout the world. Also, according to the US State Department, the Russian Navy is blocking more than 90 civilian ships in the Black Sea region, that were supposed to transport grain and other food. Russia has already bombed at least three civilian ships carrying goods from Black Sea ports around the world, including one chartered by an agricultural company. As a result, this may negatively affect the food sector in Europe itself, because about 30 % of world wheat exports fall on the Black Sea region, as well as 20 % of corn and 75 % of vegetable oil.
According to Human Rights Watch, the food crisis has already worsened in the Middle East and North Africa due to Russian aggression in Ukraine. In particular, Lebanon receives 80 % of its wheat from Ukraine; Egypt buys wheat, as well as large volumes of vegetable oil; Libya imports more than 40 % of wheat from Ukraine; Yemen — at least 27 %. In addition, northwestern Syrian authorities provide the region with wheat and flour purchased through Turkey, which also imports 90 % of its wheat from Ukraine. Due to the blocking of seaports, Ukraine began to export grain to the EU by rail. Traders have already made the first deliveries of Ukrainian corn to the EU countries. That is, Ukraine is making every effort to prevent a food crisis not only within the country, but also to ensure supplies to other countries whose well-being depends on Ukrainian agricultural products. Further possible complication of the situation is possible only as a result of military actions and aggression of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine.