Russia has repeatedly claimed that western sanctions are negatively affecting its agricultural exports in an effort to possibly block the renewal of a crucial grain deal next week, but data provided to The National suggest an overall increase in Russian fertilizer and wheat exports in 2022.
This does not mean that the sanctions, which have not been imposed on agricultural products or fertilizers, have not affected Russian exports, said Joseph Glauber, a senior research fellow at the food security think tank IFPRI and former chief economist at the US Department of Agriculture.
Because of the opacity of Russia’s export figures, there is simply not enough public data to jump to such conclusions.
By escalating threats shortly before the grain deal’s renewal date on March 18, Russia might be hope to renegotiate the deal on more favorable terms. Moscow made similar statements before the last renewal in November but agreed to it anyway.
“There’s been a lot of popular support among developing countries for this deal. I think there will be a lot of pressure for it to be extended,” Mr. Glauber told The National.
The Black Sea grain initiative was brokered by the UN and Turkey in July to prevent a global food crisis by allowing Ukrainian grain, blockaded during Russia’s invasion, to be safely exported from three ports. Russia and Ukraine are among the world’s largest grain and fertilizer exporters.
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