The United States said on Thursday it would not ban the sale of farm equipment to Russia, again denying Moscow’s claims that Western sanctions – not its invasion of Ukraine – are behind it. of the global food crisis.
The Treasury Department, in a legal form on sanctions exemptions, said it would not halt U.S. transactions related to the production, sale or transportation of agricultural equipment.
In accordance with previous rules established after the Feb. 24 invasion, the Treasury Department also said it does not ban agricultural products such as fertilizers as well as medical devices and Covid-19 testing.
The expanded exemptions “further reiterate that U.S. sanctions against Russia in response to its unprovoked and unwarranted war on Ukraine do not impede agricultural and medical commerce,” according to a Treasury Department statement.
Russian President Vladimir “Putin’s war strangled food and agricultural production, and he used food as a weapon of war by destroying agricultural storage, processing and testing facilities; stealing grain and agricultural equipment and effectively blockading Black Sea ports,” he said.
The U.S. move comes after rare signs of progress between Russia and Ukraine during talks in Turkey over the possibility of letting shipments leave Ukraine, a vital exporter of wheat and other grains.
Expeditions across the Black Sea were blocked by both Russian warships and mines which Kyiv laid to avoid a feared amphibious assault.
Food shortages have increased the risk of famine for tens of millions of people in Africa and other poor countries.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently said Russian actions had contributed to unrest in Sri Lanka, whose president fled and resigned amid mass protests over dwindling food and fuel supplies.