The Biden administration, after imposing sanctions on Russian fertilizer, is asking agricultural and shipping companies to purchase more fertilizer from Russia because of increasing inflation and a sharp decrease of agricultural supplies.
In an effort to boost the domestic grain trade, American companies are being discreetly asked to stock up on Russian fertilizer, according to Bloomberg.
Western media is blaming everything on Russia, accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of using “food as a weapon” in its “special operation” against Ukraine and those countries who are deemed “unfriendly to Russia.”
Russia, however, denies the allegations and says the sanctions that have been imposed by the West as in fact, causing the crisis.
We are seeing the tail end and the consequences of the lockdowns that were imposed during the covid pandemic – people were not able to work, the supply chain suffered because of it and the war in between Russia and Ukraine, only exacerbated an already dire situation.
Russia denies all this, however, blaming sanctions imposed by the United States and other NATO-allied nations for the food crisis that is now occurring all around the world.
The United States and the European Union (EU) have both excluded fertilizer from their sanctions because Russia is one of the major global suppliers.
Both the European Union (EU) and the U.S. included exemptions into their anti-Russia sanctions allowing for fertilizer to be purchased, because Russia is a key global supplier of it
“But many shippers, banks and insurers have been staying away from the trade out of fear they could inadvertently fall afoul of the rules,” Bloomberg reports.
“Russian fertilizer exports are down 24% this year. U.S. officials, surprised by the extent of the caution, are in the seemingly paradoxical position of looking for ways to boost them.”
The U.S sent a representative to the United Nations-led talks that were held in Moscow – the topic being supply issues – next year’s crops could be impacted severely if fertilizer remains in short supply.
Russia has said that Ukrainian farm products may be unblocked if the United States provides assurances that buyers and shippers of fertilizer will not have sanctions put on them.
Ivan Timofeev, a sanctions specialist at the Kremlin-founded Russian International Affairs Council said, “For Russia, it’s really important that U.S. authorities send a clear signal that these deals are permitted and in the interest of global food security and they shouldn’t refuse to carry them out.”
Total shipments are only down by 14 percent and wheat exports doubled in May according to Russia’s Grain Union.
“By contrast, more than 25 million tons of grain, sunflower oil and other commodities are stuck in Ukraine because of security fears in the Black Sea ports and shipping lanes traditionally used to carry them to global markets,” Bloomberg further reports.
“Officials warn the situation will become more dire with the new harvest beginning.”
Putin blamed Ukraine for the current crisis because Russia will not send ships through areas that may get attacked by the Ukrainians – who have also planted mines around ports. But Ukraine is reluctant to removed defenses and said they were unable to trust that an attack would not follow.