Russia: TV pundit discusses internal food supplies

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Russian state-owned TV host Margarita Simonyan has boasted to the world over Russia’s plentiful food supplies amid concerns many countries could soon face dire shortages of grain and other foodstuffs. Ms Simonyan suggested that the Kremlin could offer to send aid to feed the world’s needy but added that this help should only be offered to those governments who “play nicely” with Russia in a subtle threat to those nations standing in support of Ukraine’s defence from Putin’s invasion.

Ms Simonyan told RT: “The whole world is worried there’ll be a food crisis.

“Thank God we don’t have to worry about that.

“We can even share with the world, with those in the world who will behave nicely.

“To some, we can sell, to others we can simply help.

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“Thank God, we can afford to do that.”

She wrote on Twitter: “Pundits on Russian state TV rejoice that—unlike the rest of the world—Russia doesn’t have to worry about the looming food crisis.

“Head of RT, Margarita Simonyan, says Russia can even share some food, but only with those who play nice (meaning those willing to kiss Putin’s ring).”

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It comes as the UK and allies are working to help Ukraine export vital food supplies months on from Russia’s invasion.

The Government said it was working “intensively” with partners to find ways to allow grain exports to resume, as Cabinet minister Grant Shapps warned of famine causing more deaths than the invasion.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken has also discussed the situation in talks with his Ukrainian counterpart amid fears the Black Sea blockade is causing a global food crisis.

The idea of a “protective corridor” from Odesa was raised by Lithuania’s foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, The Times reported, with the potential for a “coalition of the willing” to provide ships.

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But the UK Government played down the prospect of Royal Navy warships risking a clash with Russia to break Vladimir Putin’s blockade.

A UK Government spokesman said: “Putin’s despicable blockade of Odesa is preventing food getting to people who need it.

“We will continue to work intensively with international partners to find ways to resume the export of grain from Ukraine.

“However, there are no current plans to deploy UK warships to the Black Sea.”

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