Serbia to ban exports of some foodstuffs, president says

BELGRADE, March 9 (Reuters) - Serbia will ban exports of wheat, corn, flour and cooking oil as of Thursday to counter price increases caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Aleksandar Vucic told B92 TV.

Vucic said on Tuesday that exports of grains, flour and cooking oil have jumped in recent days due to high prices on international markets.

“Some people see this as an opportunity to make money. We cannot allow that,” Vucic said. “We will have enough wheat for our own needs.”

The official decision to ban exports of the foodstuffs is yet to be approved by the government.

“We are going through the greatest crisis since 1945,” said Vucic, who is facing parliamentary and presidential elections next month.

Serbia, balancing its ambition to join the European Union with its historical ties to Russia, has not introduced sanctions against Moscow despite pressure to harmonise its foreign policy with the EU as a candidate country.

Russia’s Gazprom Neft is the majority owner of the country’s oil monopoly NIS, while Gazprom is a majority stakeholder in its sole gas storage facility. (Reporting by Ivana Sekularac; Editing by Jan Harvey)