Russia seeks alternative grain market to avoid humanitarian crisis
With growing sanctions against Moscow, Russia seeks to establish a second grain market to support economically unstable countries and help avoid a humanitarian crisis.
On Thursday, board chairman of the Russian Union of Grain Exporters, Eduard Zernin, stated that because Russian grain exporters were unable to send supplies to nations in need due to Western sanctions, a second grain market may be established.
"There will be no stockpiling [of food products] on the domestic market because of the exceptionally high demand for our grain in the world. We will find a suitable solution for arranging supplies to countries in need, including the establishment of a separate regional market with its own clearing currencies, financial instruments, trade, and dispute settlement rules," Zernin told journalists before the opening of the Russian Grain Forum.
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He explained that this new type of trade relations will be established with the MENA region added Zernin noting that Moscow's previous partners have been obstructing supplies of Russian grain to struggling countries. They blocked transactions between banks, froze finances, and barred Russian ships from reaching their ports, while they made audacious statements about the global food crisis.
Countries struggling economically are threatened to fall short some 10 million tons in grain supplies from Russia, in the upcoming season, if these trade barriers carry on, according to Zernin.
Russian Union of Grain Exporter's spokesperson showed confidence that Russia will be able to establish alternative ways of conducting trade business knowing that a total embargo on humanitarian goods, such as grains, is impossible.
Despite these efforts, business opportunities will inevitably be limited, given that sanctions against Moscow have so far reduced Zernin said, adding that sanctions against Moscow have reduced, by some 3 million tons, the volume of potential grain deliveries this season.
Earlier, Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzia added that Russia suspects Ukraine is sending grain to Europe in exchange for military supplies.
During a UN Security Council meeting, Nebenzia said: "Grain ... are being carried out of Ukraine actively using railways and using barges on the Danube but where is this screen going? We have reason to suspect that this grain is not being used to feed the hungry in the Global South, but it's being stored in grain storage of a number of different European countries."