MOSCOW, RUSSIA —Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is now deputy chairman of Russia’s security council, on April 1 warned on social media that the world’s largest wheat exporter could limit supplies of agricultural products to countries that are “friendly” toward Russia, Reuters reported.
Medvedev, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, made the comments as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its fifth week and economic sanctions imposed by Western countries over the Ukraine crisis continue to significantly damage Russia’s economy.
“We will only be supplying food and agriculture products to our friends,” Medvedev said on social media. “Fortunately, we have plenty of them, and they are not in Europe or North America at all.”
A large portion of Russia’s grain exports are shipped to the Middle East and Africa. Recently, China, which has not been critical of Russia’s invasion of its sovereign neighbor, agreed to increase wheat imports from Russia.
Medvedev noted that agricultural exports to “friendly” countries would be paid for in a combination of rubles and the currency of the importing country.
Putin recently threatened to stop exporting oil to “unfriendly” countries unless they paid in rubles.