Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev, a former Russian president, and senior Russian security official has threatened to cut off food supplies to the West in the near future.
A Russian government official has threatened to limit Russia’s essential food exports to only “friendly” countries.
Russia, a key player in the world market for wheat and other agri-food products, will instead focus on keeping itself fed, as well as supplying its friends and close allies, according to Medvedev.
Medvedev wrote on Telegram that cutting off agricultural exports to North America and the European Union would be a good method to retaliate against Western sanctions.
“It just so happens that many countries’ food security is dependent on our supplies,” the Russian official wrote. “It turns out that our food is a stealth weapon. Quiet but ominous.”
He went on to say, “We will not supply our products and agricultural products to our enemies.” “And we won’t buy anything from them (we haven’t bought anything from them since 2014, but the list of things forbidden from import could be enlarged further).”
Medvedev’s threat is similar to others made by the Russian government, such as the threat that allegedly “unfriendly” countries will soon be forced to pay in rubles only for a variety of Russian resources, including the country’s highly sought after gas exports, or face being cut off completely from the supply.
The ex-President’s remarks came just a day after the Russian government imposed export restrictions on sunflower oil and outright banned the export of sunflower seeds and rapeseed, according to POLITICO.
Foreign countries have been feeling the pressure in terms of sunflower oil supply even before the ban was announced, with panic buying reported in Germany and shortages hurting traditional chip businesses in Belgium.
Some officials, however, appear to believe that these minor inconveniences will be insignificant in comparison to the severe crises that will emerge from a shortage of agri-food exports from Russia and Ukraine.