The Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro claimed on Tuesday that the “arrogance” of the leaders of the European Union and the United States prevents the lifting of economic sanctions against Russiawhich he said threaten the food security of many countries.

Maduro, whose government has remained close to Moscow, said that the sanctions are “economic suicide” for Europe and the United States, among other countries that promote them, arguing that they impact the world’s fuel and food prices and generate shortages. of fertilizers.

“All of this is creating the perfect storm and the elites of Europe and the United States are deaf, blind, they do not want to see reality… due to arrogance, arrogance and the desire for revenge against Russia”, one of the main exporters of hydrocarbons and food from around the world, said Maduro, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Venezuelan leader did not allude to the conflict generated by the Kremlin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

Sanctions against Russia must cease and the world’s economic situation must be normalized”, which particularly affects “the countries of the south”, dependent on imports, the president stressed, referring to developing nations.

Together, Russia and Ukraine export almost a third of the wheat and barley consumed in the world, more than 70% of its sunflower oil, and are major suppliers of corn. Russia is the largest producer of fertilizers on the planet.

Food prices in the world were already experiencing a rise and the war in Ukraine worsened the situation, preventing tens of millions of tons of Ukrainian grain from reaching the Middle East, North Africa and several Asian countries, according to international organizations and experts.

Oil, meanwhile, has experienced a rise of more than 50% so far this year and is one of the biggest inflationary concerns at the international level.

Venezuela, once a rich oil country with the world’s largest oil reserves, has experienced a drastic drop in its production of crude oil and refined products for more than five years, which has resulted in shortages due to the poor supply of oil. fuels and domestic gas, while its presence in the world market is currently marginal.

Critics of the government attribute the collapse of the oil industry to mismanagement and corruption at the state corporation PDVSA. The South American country has proverbially been dependent on imports, which according to Madura have been reduced in recent years thanks to the increase in domestic production.

Today — after years of severe shortages of food and other products — the shelves are well stocked and display a wide variety of products, many of them imported. Prices set in dollars, although they are inaccessible to a good part of Venezuelans.

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