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Russia: BRICS Should Tackle Food, Economic Crises

FILE - Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov speaks to reporters after talks with major Russian firms representatives in Moscow, Russia August 24, 2018.

Blaming Western sanctions, Russia is telling BRICS members to mitigate economic risks while it continues its months-long invasion of Ukraine.

Russia, hit by sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine, has called on the BRICS group of emerging economies to coordinate measures to stabilize the economic situation, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Monday.

Siluanov told a ministerial and central bankers' meeting of the BRICS countries, which consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, that global monetary tightening and the unprecedented sanctions' policy carried out by the West create risks of global stagflation and a food crisis.

This comes as Russia's embargo of Ukrainian ports prevents Ukrainian grain from reaching world markets.

Countries like Sudan, Senegal, Egypt and other African nations are suffering from severe food shortages. Cameroon, Tanzania, and Uganda buy more than 40% of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine.

The World Food Program (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have called Monday for urgent humanitarian action to help “hunger hotspots” where acute hunger is expected to worsen over the next few months.

The two Rome-based food agencies' gloomy prognosis came in a report that also cautioned that the war in Ukraine has exacerbated already gradually rising global food and energy costs.

Recently, African Union head, Senegalese President Macky Sall, urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to take into account the suffering in African countries from food shortages caused by Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine. Russia has said it will allow food shipments to leave Ukraine if Western sanctions were lifted.