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This is in reference to the Opinion piece written by Lito Gagni “Is Russia to blame for food and energy crisis?” that BusinessMirror published on June 20, 2022.

While we respect freedom of expression, the opinion column contained blatant disinformation rehashing the words of President Putin accusing the west of creating an energy and food crisis. We would like to clarify the following:

1.  Russia’s ongoing aggression on Ukraine has placed the world in a brink of famine, as Ukraine is one of the most important global producers of grains. Russia’s troops attacked all essential farm-to-market infrastructures, preventing the export of millions of tons of grain to global markets.

2.  The United Nations has warned of an impending food calamity in 2023 since currently 1.2 billion people, or one in six of the world’s populations, are severely suffering from rising prizes of food and energy and the worsening financial conditions. The war must stop for food supplies to resume.

3.  We want to make it clear that the European policies are not shortsighted. We have never targeted Russian agricultural and fertilizer exports. EU sanctions do not prohibit Russia to export any agricultural goods, payment for such Russian exports or the provision of seeds (provided that sanctioned individuals or entities are not involved). EU sanctions do not create obligations for non-EU operators, unless their business is conducted at least partly within the EU. We are ready to work with the UN and partners to prevent any unwanted impacts of our sanctions on global food security.

4.  To avoid an even bigger catastrophe, Ukrainian exports through the Black Sea must resume.