Vladimir Putin Speaks out on Food Crisis and “Green Finance”
On June 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an interview to Rossiya 1 TV, in which he identified certain reasons for the current crises that our newsletter, as well as other opponents of EU policy, have long exposed. Concerning problems on the global food market, he pointed out that they began well before Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, including because of the Coronavirus pandemic, and due to the admitted errors of Western financial policy. “The money supply in the United States grew by $5.9 trillion in less than two years, from February 2020 to the end of 2021”, he said, and the “total cash supply grew by 38.6%”. That, in turn, raised food prices.
The second reason Putin identified, is the EU’s “short-sighted policies” in regard to energy, which overestimated the capabilities of alternative types of energy such as solar and wind, and belittled the importance of conventional types of energy. “Personally, I believe that many political players in the United States and Europe have been taking advantage of people’s natural concerns about climate change, and they began to promote this green agenda, including in the energy sector.”
As a result of this policy, “Banks stopped issuing loans because they were under pressure. Insurance companies stopped insuring deals. Local authorities stopped allocating plots of land for expanding production and reduced the construction of special transport, including pipelines. All this led to a shortage of investment in the world energy sector and price hikes as a result.”
And the Europeans refused to “preserve long-terms contracts for the delivery” of Russian gas. As natural gas prices started going up, so did fertilizer prices. The “British and later the Americans – Anglo-Saxons — imposed sanctions on our fertilizers. Then, having realized what was happening, the Americans lifted their sanctions, but the Europeans did not.”
As to whether Russia is preventing the grain stored in Ukrainian ports from being exported, Putin dismissed the accusations completely. Not the Russians, but the Ukrainians mined the approaches to the Black Sea ports they control, including Odessa, he said. So, “let them demine the ports and let the vessels loaded with grain leave. We will guarantee their peaceful passage to international waters without any problems.” He pledged that Russia would “not use the demining process to initiate an attack from the sea”. The grain could also be shipped, he proposed, via the Danube, through Romania, or Hungary, or over land through Poland, or even Belarus.
On the quantity of wheat exports stalled in Ukraine, Putin pointed out that it may not be 20 million tons but more likely, by U.S. estimates, 6 million, or by Russian estimates, 5 million. But even at 20 million, he is sure the problem can be overcome.