Tightening its noose around a belligerent Russia, the US-led West has taken a slew of measures aimed at penalizing the Kremlin for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Through one of its latest steps, the US has barred Russia from making debt payments using funds held at American banks. This action certainly increases the risk the country will not be able to pay its obligations.
On the other hand, Russia, one of world’s largest grain exporters, has made it clear to the entire world that it would start “monitoring” the export of food to the countries that are hostile to it. The world community must take stock of the situation with a lot of seriousness, given the gravity of the developments that are taking place almost on a daily basis. There have been no sincere efforts even by the United Nations to help bring to an end the Russian-Ukraine war. It must not lose sight of the fact that food and energy importing countries, particularly developing countries, cannot just afford to deal with the challenge of higher global commodity prices. Whatever is happening in Sri Lanka is a strong case in point.
Shahid Kamran (Karachi)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022