The global food crisis raises concerns about underwater mines

The global food crisis raises concerns about underwater mines

June 13, 2022: -The world is confronting a global food crisis due to the war in Ukraine, with zooming prices being touched across the globe because of Russia’s invasion, and naval mines are a big problem.

Russia and Ukraine trade increasingly frequent barbs regarding the mines in the Black Sea, which Russia used to its political advantage as its blockade of Ukraine ports continues.

“The huge impediment to the grain exports is the Russian blockades, including the mines,” Maximilian Hess, central Asia spokesperson at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, told CNBC.

“The real issue going forward is that Russia seems intent on using this as an instrument of leverage,” he added.

Russia and Ukraine blame each other for using the mines to pause the shipping and stop grain exports from leaving the country, a factor contributing to global food prices surging.

Ukraine has even targeted Russia for setting Soviet-era naval mines adrift to purposefully disrupt shipping and global food supplies, which says that mines were effectively “uncontrolled drifting ammunition.”

Russia refuses and has blamed Ukraine for the un-moored mines. Moscow has accused the international sanctions imposed on the country of the global food crisis and said that exports could restart as soon as Ukraine removes the mines from its ports.

William Albergue, director of the strategy, technology, and arms control at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told CNBC that Ukraine would have been “crazy” not to have mined the approaches to its ports, and its reluctance to remove them now was rational.

“You can completely understand why Ukraine would be using sea mines right now. The Russians have made the chance of an amphibious assault on Odesa,” he said Thursday.

But strategists accept that Russia is operating the mines to its economic and military advantage.

“It is certainly an excuse for the Russians that they’re there as they can selectively de-mine ports they control, try to reroute trade, and maintain a de facto blockade over Odesa while claiming that this is all on the Ukrainians.”

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The global food crisis raises concerns about underwater mines