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Russia war sanctions should not deprive Asia of fertilizer

Kamran Bokhari

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Expansion of domestic grain production depends on secure access to inputs

International efforts to isolate Russia over its aggression in Ukraine have come at a huge cost to global food security.

While the food supply squeeze has been hardest in Asia on nations already in financial difficulty such as Sri Lanka and Pakistan, other regional states like Indonesia and Myanmar also depend heavily on grains and fertilizers from Russia and Ukraine to feed their populations.

With the biggest conflict in Europe since World War II likely to rage on for months more at least, it is vital that Western policymakers fine-tune their sanctions on Moscow to better balance the imperatives of countering Russian aggression and preventing a global food crisis from further harming Asia’s most vulnerable.

Thus far, the Kremlin has responded to Western sanctions by weaponizing its own grain supply and that of Ukraine. In effect, Russia is spreading the financial stress it is suffering across the world in the form of shortages of food supplies.

Read more in Nikkei Asia.