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05 July 2022, 12:14

Lukashenko comments on increase in global food prices

MINSK, 5 July (BelTA) – The agricultural industry should work efficiently and in good coordination amidst the ongoing developments in the region and the world, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with senior officials of the Council of Ministers, BelTA has learned.

The governors were also invited to the meeting to discuss progress in harvesting that had already begun.

“Every day the whole world wakes up to the talks about famine, unprecedented famine since the Great Patriotic War that might become a reality by autumn or winter. This is the same fearmongering as with the pandemic or something else. Yet, there is no smoke without fire. There will be famine and this will happen not only because Ukrainian grain is not exported or Russia is under sanctions. In fact, bread will not be the only commodity in short supply in the world. I have said this many times. And you see how helplessly the entire UN system is trying to prevent the inevitable crisis. Fifty countries of the world critically depend on them - on this food. Yet, the worst is yet to come,” the president said.

“This crazy sanctions spiral affecting mineral fertilizers, petroleum products, logistics (freight, insurance) threatens to roil subsequent agricultural seasons and simply destroy food markets,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that food prices will rise overall, because the rise in prices for grain crops will immediately push up prices for other types of foods, livestock products. The president remarked that prices had already broken historical records. For example, wheat rose in price by more than 60% over the past six months. “As it turned out, you can't spread dollars on bread,” the head of state noted.

He recalled that the previous spike in wheat prices in 2008 resulted in the infamous Arab Spring. Grain became part of a big politics and, in fact, was turned into a tool.

“That's why I am telling you: if the economy keeps working, if people have something to eat and wear, this is a guarantee that we will survive. Unless the government wrecks other sectors of the economy in the face of the sanctions, we should not be afraid of any sanctions,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

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