Biden warns of ‘real’ food shortage risk over Russia’s invasion into Ukraine
President Biden warned Thursday that there could be global food shortages resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and announced steps to prevent a potential crisis.
“We did talk about food shortages. And it’s going to be real. The price of these sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia, it’s imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well,” Biden said at a press conference from Brussels, where he is meeting with NATO leaders.
Both Russia and Ukraine, for example, are providers of wheat, Biden noted, though he pointed out that the U.S. and Canada are both major wheat producers, too.
The president announced his intention to redouble combined efforts with the European Union to increase global food security and provide direct food aid, where warranted, to prevent a crisis in a joint statement with European Union President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday.
The president said NATO leaders talked about urging all the European countries and everyone else “to end trade restrictions on limitations on sending food abroad.”
The U.S. and its allies, Biden said, are in the “process of working out” how to alleviate food shortage concerns amid rising inflation and lingering supply chain issues.
Senior administration officials warned that Russia’s invasion threatens to jeopardize food security for the Middle East and Africa in particular.
“Russia’s war of aggression threatens to disrupt the supply of critical agricultural commodities from the Black Sea region, which jeopardizes global food security, particularly for vulnerable populations in the Middle East and Africa,” officials said earlier on Thursday.