Russia ready to help poor nations battle hunger – Putin
Russia is eager to help out in overcoming the global food crisis, President Vladimir Putin said in a video message published on the Kremlin’s website on Sunday.
“We fully provide the domestic market with basic products that people need, we are successfully resolving the issues of food security and, moreover, we are increasing export opportunities. We are ready to make our own contribution to overcoming global food problems and provide the necessary assistance to the poorest, developing countries,” the president said.
Putin noted that the agricultural industry is one of the key sectors of the Russian economy, which “year after year demonstrates convincing, worthy results.” He added that this year’s grain harvest is expected to be record-breaking, at around 150 million tons, including 100 million tons of wheat.
The president also said that due to the unprecedented sanctions on the country, agricultural producers face new challenges, but that these problems will be overcome once Russia attains technological sovereignty in the agricultural sector.
“Working in conditions of unprecedented sanctions pressure poses new challenges to the agro-industrial complex. We will solve them jointly, with the support of the state, and use the restrictions for our own development. We need to increase the level of technological sovereignty… which means boosting our capabilities in breeding, genetics, seed production; stimulating the transition to modern domestic equipment and machinery; creating conditions for a further inflow of investment,” he stated.
Putin has repeatedly accused Western nations of taking over grain exported from Ukraine under a deal reached earlier this year, instead of allowing it to be delivered to developing countries. Late last month, he warned that the situation could trigger a global food crisis, pointing out that of the 203 ships that left Ukrainian ports as of September 23, only four went to the poorest countries.
Russia is prepared to increase grain exports to up to 30 million tons in the second half of 2022, according to Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev, which is “the volume that we promised within the framework of our agreements with the UN to solve the problem of world hunger.” However, in order to do so, Moscow needs the UN to help lift Western restrictions which, while not targeting Russian grain exports directly, pose problems for Russian shipments.
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