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One of the richest Russians, Andrei Melnichenko warns: Global food crisis is approaching if the war in Ukraine does not stop

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A global food crisis is imminent if the war in Ukraine does not end, because fertilizer prices are skyrocketing so much that many farmers can no longer afford them, Russian fertilizer and coal billionaire Andrei Melnichenko said on Monday. > Many of Russia's richest businessmen have publicly called for peace since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion on February 24, including Mikhail Fridman, Pyotr Aven and Oleg Deripaska.

The United States and its European allies have described Putin's invasion as an imperialist-type abduction that has so far failed to materialize because Moscow has underestimated Ukrainian resistance and Western determination to punish Russia. The West has imposed sanctions on Russian businessmen, including European Union sanctions on Melnichenko, froze state assets and cut off much of the Russian corporate sector from the world economy in a bid to force Putin to change course.

< Putin denies it. He called the war a special military operation to rid Ukraine of dangerous nationalists and Nazis.

“The events in Ukraine are really tragic. “We urgently need peace,” Melnitshenko, a 50-year-old Russian-born Belarusian who has a Ukrainian mother, told Reuters in a statement sent by his spokesman.”One of the victims of this crisis will be agriculture and food,” said Melnichenko, who founded EuroChem, one of Russia's largest fertilizer producers, which moved to Zug, Switzerland, in 2015, and SUEK, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has killed thousands, displaced more than 2 million people and raised fears of a wider conflict between Russia and the United States, the two largest nuclear forces of the world.

Food war?

Putin warned last Thursday that food prices would rise internationally as fertilizer prices soared if the West created export problems. fertilizers of Russia & # 8211; representing 13% of world production.

Russia is a major producer of potash, phosphate and nitrogen fertilizers & # 8211; main nutrients of crops and soil. EuroChem, which produces nitrogen, phosphates and potash, says it is one of the top five fertilizer companies in the world. The war “has already led to a spike in fertilizer prices that are no longer available to farmers,” Melnichenko said. He said the food supply chains, which had already been disrupted by COVID-19, were now even more distressed. “It will now lead to even higher food inflation in Europe and possible food shortages in the world's poorest countries,” he said. earlier this month.

Melnichenko, who was just 19 years old when the Soviet Union collapsed, began trading the currency while a physics student at the famous Moscow State University. A talented mathematician who once dreamed of becoming a physicist, Melnichenko dropped out of university to dive into the chaotic – and sometimes deadly – world of post-Soviet business.

He founded MDM Bank, but in the 1990s it was still too young to participate in the privatizations under President Boris Yeltsin, which handed over the finest assets of a former superpower to a group of businessmen who would become known as oligarchs because of their political and economic influence.

Melnichenko then began buying frequently damaged coal and fertilizer assets.

His fortune in 2021 was estimated by Forbes at $ 18 billion, making him the eighth richest man in Russia. The European Union (EU) on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Melnichenko over the Russian invasion. He said his participation in a Kremlin meeting with Putin and 36 businessmen organized by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs showed that he was “one of the top businessmen involved in the economic sector.” has nothing to do with the tragic events in Ukraine. “He has no political convictions,” said his spokesman. “To draw the parallel between attending a meeting by attending a business council, as dozens of businessmen from both Russia and Europe have done in the past, and undermining or threatening a country is absurd and foolish.” His spokesman said, adding that Melnichenko would challenge the sanctions. said his spokesman. EuroChem has production assets in Russia, Lithuania, Belgium, Brazil and Kazakhstan. Italian police seized Melnichenko's 143-meter-long Sailing Yacht A last week & # 8211; which is priced at 530 million euros.


Source: politis.com.cy

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