President Joe Biden warned Thursday that food shortages are “gonna be real” as the U.S. faces possible wheat shortages because of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War.
While speaking in Brussels, Belgium, Biden was asked “whether there’s the conversations…[about] the subject of food shortages and what the U.S. will do to address wheat shortages in particular, as a result of this?”
“With regard to food shortages, yes, we did talk about food shortages,” Biden said. “And it’s gonna be real.”
“The price of these sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia,” he continued. “It’s imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well. Including European countries and our country as well.” (RELATED: Anything With Wheat In It Will Probably Be More Expensive)
“Because both Russia and Ukraine have been the breadbasket of Europe in terms of wheat, for example, just give one example. But we had a long discussion in the G7 with both the United States, which has a significant, third-largest producer of wheat in the world, as well as Canada, which is also a major, major producer,” Biden added. “And we both talked about how we could increase and disseminate more rapidly, food shortages. In addition to that, we talked about urging all European countries and everyone else to end trade restrictions on sending, limitations on sending food abroad.”
Ukraine and Russia accounted for a combined 25.4% of the world’s wheat production in 2019, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity. Russia is the largest wheat exporter, while Ukraine ranks fifth. Russia has banned grain exports to Europe through at least the end of August in a retaliatory measure to western sanctions, while Ukrainian farmers, who have taken up arms to defend their nation, are short on goods like fertilizer and fuel.