Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a retaliatory decree Tuesday to hit “unfriendly” states with export blocks in a move that could further hinder the global market.
The move would look to terminate existing deals and restrict the export of “raw materials and products” from Russia that serve in the interest of certain foreign entities.
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The steps are in retaliations for the severe international sanctions that Russia has been hit with following its illegal invasion into Ukraine nearly 70 days ago.
The block would allegedly protect Moscow’s interests and counter “unfriendly actions which contradict international law by the United States of America and foreign states and international organizations that joined them,” Russian media reported.
Putin alleged the international sanctions are “illegitimately depriving the Russian Federation, the citizens of the Russian Federation and Russian legal entities of [their] property right[s] and restricting their property right[s].”
Putin did not list which nations or foreign groups he would specifically target, but instead called on his government to approve a list of entities that will be sanctioned within the next 10 days.
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Russia has already issued retaliatory sanctions against the U.S. and other NATO allies, but the latest threat could cause a new round of economic turmoil as it would allow Moscow to void existing deals – a move that could create global shockwaves.
Human rights officials have been sounding the alarm that global food supplies are expected to be negatively impacted, which could prove catastrophic for international famine.
Before the war in Ukraine, Kyiv was responsible for contributing more than 10% to the global wheat market.
If Russia then moves to block its own wheat exports or voids existing deals, up to 30% of the global wheat supply could be impacted, reports noted earlier this year.
Ukraine and Russia similarly account for just under 30% of the world’s barley supplies, which is largely used to feed cattle.
Corn and sunflower seed – used for cooking oil – have also seen export vulnerabilities.
Prices across the globe have jumped at the pump and in grocery stores following first the global coronavirus pandemic, and then supply chain issues and spiking inflation. But Putin’s decree to block global trade could have further substantial economic repercussions.