President Biden on Thursday warned of global food shortages as a consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine — predicting that the war would upend global wheat supplies.
Russia and Ukraine collectively provide about a fourth of the world’s wheat exports.
“With regard to food shortages, yes we did talk about food shortages. And it’s going to be real,” Biden mentioned at a press convention in Belgium after attending conferences of NATO and G7 leaders.
“The price of these sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia, it’s imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country,” Biden mentioned.
“Both Russia and Ukraine have been the breadbasket of Europe in terms of wheat, for example, just to give one example.”
Biden mentioned that the US and Canada will search to spice up wheat manufacturing to offset the drop in supplies — as Russia already curtails wheat shipments to pleasant former Soviet republics in Central Asia.
“We had a long discussion in the G7 with both the United States, which has a significant — the third largest producer of wheat in the world, as well as Canada, which is also a major, major producer, and we both talked about how we could increase and disseminate more rapidly food shortages,” Biden mentioned.
“In addition, we talked about urging all European countries and everyone else to end trade restrictions on sending — limitations on sending food abroad. And so we are in the process of working out with our European friends what it would be, what it would take to help alleviate the concerns relative to food shortages. We also talked about a significant, major US investment among others in terms of providing for the need for humanitarian assistance, including food as we move forward.”
Food costs had been already hovering within the US as a consequence of inflation hitting 7.9 p.c in February, a month that featured solely the primary 4 days of the Russian invasion. Gas rises spiked after the invasion and the US blocked imports of Russian oil and pure gasoline, although European allies selected not to take action, limiting the impact on global vitality costs.