Russia says there will be no domestic food shortages

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Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko poses for a picture during an interview with Reuters in Moscow, Russia May 31, 2021. Picture taken May 31, 2021. REUTERS/Olesya Astakhova

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March 15 (Reuters) - Russia said on Tuesday there was no risk of a food shortage on the domestic market and cautioned consumers against rushing out to stock up on staples after the West slapped sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia's economy is facing its gravest crisis since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union after the United States and Europe cut Russia off from swathes of the global economy due to Moscow's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

"There are no conditions for risks of a shortage or for a reduction in product range," Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko said in a statement.

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"It is not worth driving up artificial demand with purchases for the future," Abramchenko said. "We will reorient the market and establish mutually profitable trade, expand our partnership network with friendly countries."

Russia has already taken steps to safeguard its food market in light of Western sanctions.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Monday signed an order banning the export of white and raw sugar until Aug. 31, and banning wheat, rye, barley and maize exports to neighbouring Eurasian Economic Union states until June 30. read more

President Vladimir Putin says the "special military operation" in Ukraine is essential to ensure Russian security after NATO admitted members up to Russia's borders and Western countries supported pro-Western leaders in Kyiv.

Ukraine says it is fighting for its existence. The United States and its European and Asian allies have condemned the Russian invasion. China has called for calm.

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Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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