JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia and Ukraine close in on grain deal extension” – Financial Times

Wheat in Field, adapted from image at usda.gov

“Negotiators are confident agreement will be reached before programme expires on Saturday” “Russia and Ukraine are close to agreeing to extend a deal securing Kyiv’s grain exports via its Black Sea ports … a crucial step to alleviating a global food crisis triggered by the conflict. … In exchange … Russia will be able to use a pipeline that transports […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia rejoins wartime deal on Ukrainian grain exports” – AP

Wheat in Field, adapted from image at usda.gov

“Diplomatic efforts salvaged a wartime agreement … allow[ing] Ukrainian grain and other commodities to reach world markets, with Russia saying Wednesday it would stick to the deal after Ukraine pledged not to use a designated Black Sea corridor to attack Russian forces. … Russia suspended its participation in the grain deal over the weekend, citing allegations of a Ukrainian drone […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Diplomacy Is Still (Just About) Possible in Ukraine; The Black Sea agreement offers a model for off-ramps to escalation” – Foreign Policy

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… There has been one … diplomatic effort … agreed on and implemented by all parties involved (including both Ukraine and Russia) … [that] could also serve as a framework for preventing the war from worsening. … the Black Sea Grain Initiative … mediated by Turkey and the United Nations. … … [It] paved the way for a humanitarian maritime […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s Black Sea deal also helps Russian farmers, economy” – AP

Wheat in Field, adapted from image at usda.gov

“… [S]hip after ship loaded with grain has sailed from Ukraine after being stuck … for nearly six months. More quietly, a parallel wartime deal met Moscow’s demands to clear the way for its wheat to get to the world, too …. While the U.S. and its European allies work to crush Russia’s finances with a web of penalties for […]

» Read more

VIDEO: JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine Grain Shipment Departs for First Time Since Russian Invasion” – WSJ

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“Ship leaves port of Odessa following deal aimed at easing the global food crisis.” “[On Monday] Ukraine dispatched its first grain shipment since the start of Russia’s invasion … the first test for a deal reached last month to allow Ukraine, one of the world’s largest grain exporters, to begin shipping some 18 million metric tons that Russia’s invasion … […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s Farmers Begin a Harvest Like No Other” – WSJ

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“Farmers brave mines and grapple with damaged equipment, but their resilience masks problems that will likely last long after the war ends.” “… Restoring destroyed [agricultural] infrastructure and getting workers to return to the fields will take time. While a recent agreement … to give grain shipments safe passage from Ukraine’s blockaded ports offers some hope … many farmers … […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia and Ukraine sign grain deal to avert global food crisis; Two sides agree ‘de facto ceasefire’ to allow cargo ships to collect millions of tonnes of grain from Ukrainian ports” – Financial Times

Wheat in Field, adapted from image at usda.gov

“Kyiv and Moscow … signed a deal aimed at averting a global food crisis by agreeing [to] a ‘de facto ceasefire’ on cargo ships that will collect millions of tonnes of stranded grain from Ukrainian ports. … [with] the agreement … signed … Friday … in Istanbul …. But diplomats warned that upholding the agreement would present huge challenges amid […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian withdrawal from Snake Island offers path for Ukraine grain shipments” – Financial Times

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“Moscow says retreat shows ‘goodwill’ but Kyiv claims victory after bombardment of strategic Black Sea outpost.” [scroll down for maps] “Russia withdrew forces from … strategic Black Sea outpost … Snake Island in what the defence ministry described as a ‘gesture of goodwill’ to help restore Ukrainian grain shipments, but which Kyiv claimed was a humiliating retreat. The [Russian defense] […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin is starving millions of people around the world” – Washington Post

Wheat in Field, adapted from image at usda.gov

“… Putin’s atrocities … grow[] [daily]. In addition to … the blood of Ukrainians on his hands from his completely unjustified war, [Putin] is … responsible for … growing starvation … around the world. Ukraine is the breadbasket for much of the Middle East and North Africa. … Putin is preventing Ukrainian grain from leaving … Odessa and [blocking] other […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Blinken accuses Russia of using food as a weapon in Ukraine” – Reuters

File Photo of UN Building with Flags

“U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Russia on Thursday of using food as a weapon in Ukraine by holding ‘hostage’ supplies for not just Ukrainians, but also millions around the world. A [Russian] senior official … rejected the allegations, saying Russians … would not export food while being subject to tough sanctions. Addressing the United Nations Security Council, Blinken […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Climate Change in Russia and the Weaponization of Wheat” – The Center for Climate and Security/ Leah Emanuel

Arctic Map

“As temperatures in the Russian Arctic rapidly increase and permafrost continues to melt, Russian land feasible for wheat production is beginning to grow. … While wheat makes up only 2.3% of Russia’s total exports, this small percentage constitutes a major portion of the global wheat export market. … Relying on wheat production in these newly farmable lands, however, will not […]

» Read more

As Russia’s Food Prices Soar, Bakers Are Feeling the Squeeze; The costs of key ingredients like sugar and eggs have risen sharply in recent months.

File Photo of Wheat Field in Kenya, adapted from image at usda.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – Jan. 22, 2019) [themoscowtimes.com/articles/as-russias-food-prices-soar-bakers-are-feeling-the-squeeze-64225] Vladimir Anshakov hadn’t planned on becoming a baker. But when the law school graduate was between jobs several years ago, he was spending more time at home with his teething toddler who had a penchant for gnawing on bread crusts. After the new father checked the ingredients, his […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s GMO debate looks a lot like America’s – with more geopolitics” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

File Photo of Wheat Field in Kenya, adapted from image at usda.gov

“… faced with something new, Russian lawmakers have generally found it easier to ban it than … debate it, even if such prohibitions often prove dysfunctional …. case in point: Russia’s legislation banning … production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) … nominally implemented … to keep Russia’s food supply ‘pure.’ The passage two years ago of the law … prohibit[ing] […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Numbers Backing ‘Russia’s Agricultural Boom’ Were Inflated, Report Says” – Moscow Times

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 19, 2018) Russia’s widely lauded agricultural boom was overestimated by as much as 30 percent for certain crops, according to a report published earlier this month. Driven by a weaker ruble and higher oil prices, agriculture overtook arms sales in 2017 to become Russia’s second-biggest export sector behind oil and gas. Official data suggested […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russians spend a third of their income on food” – bne Intellinews

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“Russian spend a third of their income (31.2%) on food, according to RIA Rating … [compared with] two years ago where the share of spending of food crept up to 55% according to VTB Capital (VTBC) …. While incomes have fallen dramatically in dollar terms so have prices … with heavy investment into domestic food and food processing industries in […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “The tenth city: Rostov-on-Don; We move to Russia in our series on Europe’s second-tier cities; Ancient trading traditions have survived Bolshevism and war” – The Economist

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“… [Rostov-on-Don has] roots as a trading hub …. Russia’s gdp growth is slow at around 1.5% … [yet] the Rostov region is … at twice that … powered by booming farming, retooled manufacturing and an active citizenry. … [G]eography, tradition and mild weather make[] Rostov among Russia’s most entrepreneurial cities. … [where] 44% of the workforce is employed in […]

» Read more

Let Them East Cheese: Russian Plant Thrives Amid Sanctions

Russia Map

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Dmitry Lyubimov, Tony Wesolowsky – Oct. 22, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/let-them-east-cheese-russian-plant-thrives-amid-sanctions-/29557433.html) Sergei Chernych proudly points to the gleaming Western-made stainless-steel machinery at his cheese factory in Mari El, a small republic in Russia’s Volga region. Production at the plant in Sernur, some 90 kilometers east of the […]

» Read more

Russia to increase salmon aquaculture

Spawning Salmon File Image, adapted from image at fws.gov

(The Fish Site – thefishsite.com – Jaroslaw Adamowski – October 30, 2017) Russia’s largest farmed fish producer, Russian Aquaculture, is developing its farm network across the country at a time when the country’s authorities are making increased efforts to develop the sector and reduce their dependency on fish imports. Russian Aquaculture currently owns cultivation rights for 30 salmon and trout sites […]

» Read more

Russia Is an Emerging Superpower in Global Food Supply; Climate change is working against other regions but in favor of the Eurasian Grain Belt.

File Image, Map of Russian Wheat Production by Region, adapted from image at usda.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – September 4, 2017) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. Russia is often seen as a country that produces little that the world wants except energy commodities. The oil export dependence looks like a major time […]

» Read more

Russia Expands Grip on Wheat Exports as Asia Set to Buy More

File Photo of Wheat Field in Kenya, adapted from image at usda.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Manisha Jha, Anatoly Medetsky – August 31, 2017) Russia, the world’s biggest wheat exporter, is about to grab even more customers in the fast-growing economies of Asia — a region that normally gets most of its imported grain from somewhere else. A farm industry that emerged from the former Soviet Union to become a wheat-trade powerhouse […]

» Read more

Russian Ports and Railways Start to Feel Strain of Giant Harvest

Black Sea Satellite Photo file image

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anatoly Medetsky – August 30, 2017) Russia’s massive grains harvest is starting to put a strain on the country’s ability to ship out and store crops. Grains output is set to surpass a Soviet-era record and exports in the season that began in July may be the biggest since the USSR collapsed a quarter of a […]

» Read more

Rusia destroys 17,600 tonnes of embargo-busting produce since August 2015 – watchdog

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

MOSCOW. Aug 28 (Interfax) – Since August 6, 2015, Russia has destroyed 17,600 tonnes of food products imported to Russia in violation of the partial embargo, Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) reported. Products from plant cultivation account for 17,140 tonnes of the total, while 475 tonnes of livestock farming products have been destroyed. In the two years […]

» Read more

Interfax: Russian wheat harvest may reach record 79-82 mln tonnes this year – IKAR

File Image, Map of Russian Wheat Production by Region, adapted from image at usda.gov

MOSCOW. Aug 23 (Interfax) – Russia’s Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR) has once more raised its forecast for the grain harvest this year. The wheat harvest may reach a record 79 million-82 million tonnes this year, up from 73.3 million tonnes last year, IKAR General Director Dmitry Rylko told Interfax. IKAR previously forecast that the wheat harvest would amount […]

» Read more

Soviet-Era Grain Record Seen Tumbling on Bumper Russian Crop

File Image, Map of Russian Wheat Production by Region, adapted from image at usda.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anatoly Medetsky – August 21, 2017) A quarter century after the collapse of the USSR, Russian farmers are finally poised to beat the record for grain production that the country set during the Soviet era. The harvest will total at least 130.7 million metric tons this year on bumper wheat and corn crops, said Vladimir Petrichenko, […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “Back to the land: Russia’s farming transformation; Can government policy and a new foodie class turn the country into an agricultural force?” – Financial Times/ Kathrin Hille

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

“… With 123 million hectares in arable land – the world’s third-largest area behind only India and the U.S. – Russia has the potential to be an agricultural superpower. The country has 36,400 agricultural enterprises and 174,600 farmers, according to the 2016 agricultural census. … although the broader economy has been in the grip of recession over the past two […]

» Read more

Russian government extends counter-sanctions till end of 2018

EU Map

MOSCOW. July 5 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a resolution extending the ban on imports of certain types of agricultural products, raw materials and food, the governmental website said in a report on Wednesday. “The ban on imports of certain types of agricultural products, raw materials and food originating from the United States, EU member countries, […]

» Read more

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Government members

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – April 26, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Government members to discuss import substitution in industry and agriculture. Other subjects of discussion included preparations for children’s summer holidays, work on the draft law on responsible treatment of animals, and the programme to build or reconstruct village cultural centres. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon colleagues. Today, […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK RBTH/Vzglyad: “Food import substitution turns out to be extremely profitable”

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

“Russia has saved $4 billion since it began substituting imported products in response to the imposition of food embargoes by the U.S. and EU, the Agriculture Ministry says. But is this enough to encourage the future growth of production?”

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “China Goes Food Shopping-to Russia; ‘Everything that can be consumed by a human being in China is something they’re interested in,’ Russian official says” – Wall Street Journal/AMIE FERRIS-ROTMAN/Liyan Qi

Asia Map

China bought more than $1 billion in food products from Russia last year, replacing Turkey as the top importer of Russian foodstuffs. … central to Russia’s economic and political pivot toward Asia, as the Russian economy continues to suffer under Western sanctions and the low price of oil, and U.S.-Russian relations deteriorate …. Russia and China … describe current relations […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK CNN: “Dining under Putin: How sanctions are fueling a Russian food revolution”

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

“Import bans have failed to put the kibosh on Russia’s culinary inventiveness. Restaurants are returning to what Russia does best, such as traditional dishes made with root vegetables such as beetroot.”

» Read more

NEWSLINK Politics.eu: “Russia’s boom (farming) economy. Kremlin credits Western sanctions. The truth is more complicated.”

Field of Grain file photo

“… When the West slapped sanctions on Russia in 2014 and Moscow retaliated with a trade embargo, the consensus was that Moscow was shooting itself in the foot by banning fresh produce from the EU. A little more than two years later, the Kremlin insists the sanctions have galvanized a new generation of Stakhanovite farmers to smash production targets and propel the country […]

» Read more

Russia Shifts Focus From Oil To Agriculture

Oil Well file photo

(Oilprice.com – Michael McDonald – October 13, 2016) Michael MaDonald is an assistant professor of finance and a frequent consultant to companies regarding capital structure decisions and investments. Russia’s biggest industry has been oil production historically, but the country appears to be trying to diversify that by putting more emphasis on agriculture. The former soviet state has been relying on […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK Washington Post: “Please pass the Russian Parmesan: Cheesemakers celebrate sanctions, and hope they continue.”

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

“… When Russian President Vladimir Putin banned most food imports from Europe in 2014 in response to Western sanctions, Russian dairy farmers rejoiced as deliveries of French and Italian cheeses ceased. Now, they believed, they could compete. Since then, they have tried to duplicate all sorts of famous varieties, from Camembert to Emmenthal. But one global delicacy remains largely beyond […]

» Read more

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev

Field of Grain file photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 27, 2016) Vladimir Putin met with Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev. The Minister briefed the President on the planned grain harvest and the Russian agricultural industry’s export potential. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Tkachev, harvesting is gradually moving towards completion. What result will you report this year? Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev: The outlook is better than ever. […]

» Read more

Putin Is Growing Organic Power One T-34 Tank-Tomato at a Time; Backed by billionaires’ cash, Russian food exports are now worth more than Kalashnikovs and all other military hardware combined.

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anatoly Medetsky, Matthew Campbell, Yuliya Fedorinova – June 7, 2016) [Photos and charts here bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-06-07/putin-is-growing-organic-power-one-t-34-tank-tomato-at-a-time] Deep in the Caucasus, downriver from Europe’s highest peak, North Korean women roam Soviet-era hothouses growing what tycoon Vladimir Evtushenkov is betting will be his next big bounty: the T-34 battle tomato. The plump hybrids, named for the fearsome tank that […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “Russian Village Resists Privatization Effort Championed by Putin. Locals, activists and lawmakers rally to prevent sale of century-old state-owned dairy plant.” – Wall Street Journal

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

The Russian government’s privatization drive soured in a village called Milk. The dairy plant here that for more than a century has churned out Russia’s most-recognizable brand of butter was scheduled to be auctioned in mid-February, the latest target to raise cash for the budget. But after locals, activists and lawmakers held rallies and petitioned President Vladimir Putin and other […]

» Read more

Russians Spend Half Their Incomes on Food For First Time Since 2008

File Photo of Older Russian Woman Shopping in Grocery Store

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 19, 2016) For the first time since 2008 Russians are spending more than half their monthly income on food, as falling real incomes force them to buy only basic necessities, a study published Tuesday revealed. In February, Russians spent 50.1 percent of their earnings on food products, including alcohol and tobacco, according to the […]

» Read more

The pitchforks are coming; Farm workers in the depths of southern Russia are hardly a protest constituency, but corruption and corporate raids have pushed them to the brink. They may even take their grievances to Moscow – by tractor.

Russia Regions Map

(opendemocracy.net – Svetlana Bolotnikova – April 7, 2016) Svetlana Bolotnikova is a Russian journalist and correspondent for KavPolit, an online publication specialising in political developments in the Caucasus. Aleksei Volchenko, 37, is a farmer in Kalininsky district, in the Kuban area of southern Russia. There are no large cities or towns here, just stanitsy, Cossack villages. Residents either work their […]

» Read more

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev

File Photo of Wheat Field in Kenya, adapted from image at usda.gov

(Kremlin.ru – March 9, 2016) Mr Tkachev briefed the President on preparations for spring sowing campaign and the Ministry’s current work. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Tkachev, we are nearly in the middle of March. Thus, a natural question is how have we prepared for spring sowing campaign? It usually involves three components: funding, fuel and lubricants, and fertilisers. […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “Could sanctions spur Russia’s ascent to agricultural superpower? Since the end of the Soviet era, Russia’s agricultural industry has languished. But with sanctions now keeping European goods out of the Russian market, small domestic farmers are stepping up.” – Christian Science Monitor

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows » Read more

NEWSWATCH Reuters: “Grim reality sets in for Ukraine wheat crop”

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Reuters covers Ukrainian agricultural production following some unfavorable weather conditions earlier in the year. Ukraine’s 2016 wheat crop is … sailing into uncharted waters given both the significantly missed planting target and a record percentage of crops in poor condition. … the world’s sixth-largest wheat exporter[] has faced one of the most challenging winter planting campaigns this year than ever […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: “Russia Takes Aim at Turkish Economy Amid Fighter-Jet Spat. Turkish officials reject Vladimir Putin’s call for an apology.”

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

The Wall Street Journal covers Russia’s response to Turkey’s shoot-down of a Russian military jet. Russia has reacted with fury to the incident and vowed to retaliate by clamping down on trade and business ties. … Turkish President … Erdogan dismissed Mr. Putin’s demands that Ankara apologize or offer compensation …. Turkey has provided evidence that it gave repeated warnings […]

» Read more

EU-Russia food fight masks business as usual

EU Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Liam Halligan in London – September 22, 2015) For several days in late July and early August, thousands of farmers across North East France used tractors to obstruct roads from Germany. The aim was to prevent trucks carrying agricultural goods from crossing the Rhine. In South West France, too, more Gallic protesters, similarly mounted […]

» Read more
1 2