In the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has become the most-sanctioned country in the world with 5,581 sanctions currently in place. Between its recognition of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions as independent states on February 22 and March 8, the number of sanctions against Russian individuals and entities imposed by the U.S., the EU and select countries like Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Japan more than doubled when compared to the period prior.
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Prior to the invasion of Ukraine, Iran was by far the most-sanctioned state in history with 3,616 active sanctions by the U.S., the UN, the EU and countries like Australia, Canada, India and Israel. The relationship between the latter and the Islamic Republic has been especially fraught, with disputes surrounding Iran’s atomic arsenal and its general hostile stance towards Israel threatening to escalate on a regular basis.
A majority of the sanctions imposed on Syria, which ranks third on Castellum.AI’s list, stem from the events surrounding the Syrian civil war starting in 2011. Following civil unrest in connection with the Arab Spring movement, clashes between President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and an unlikely coalition of foreign and domestic actors often opposed on key issues led to a humanitarian crisis and the internal and foreign displacement of more than half of Syria’s 22 million inhabitants over the years.
Leading the current round of sanctions against Russia are Switzerland, the EU and France with 568, 516 and 512 restrictions, respectively. The overwhelming majority of those sanctions target individuals, with only 366 of the 2,827 sanctions geared towards entities. Not included in these figures are sectoral sanctions like general trade embargos placed on gas or oil. On top of the sanctions put in place by nation-states and governing bodies, over 300 companies have either partially or completely withdrawn from the Russian market according to researchers at the Yale School of Management, among them industry heavyweights like Adidas, Google, Disney, Exxon or Volkswagen.
Global Food Crisis
Russian sanctions and the beautifully crafted Ukraine crisis — are deepening the worst surge in global food prices since the Great Recession, raising the specter that Moscow’s war could spark crisis-level hikes, inflame the scourge of world hunger, and spark political turmoil far from the conflict zone.
Since the Russian assault began, countries from Hungary to Indonesia have moved to bar the door to exports, corralling grains and cooking oils to feed their own and risking a round of trade protectionism that could deepen global supply and price woes. Around the world, food prices were already rising fast amid supply chain disruptions and pandemic-era inflation.
But some prices — especially wheat, a basic source of sustenance in many countries — have shot through the roof because of the Ukraine crisis, upending calculations of the world’s available food supply and leading to the rationing of flour in parts of the Middle East. Together, Ukraine and Russia account for nearly 30 percent of wheat, 17 percent of corn, and over half of sunflower seed oil exports.
The conflict-inducted bottlenecks at Black Sea ports — where cargo vessels have been struck by Russian rockets — and other complications of war have slammed Ukrainian exports. Boycotts of Russian ports by shipping companies and the knock-on effects of sanctions have also disrupted the flow of foods and feeds from Russia — creating problems that could grow as the Kremlin now threatens to impose export controls on some food commodities.
As bad as it is — a key wheat future surged 70 percent over the past month — the situation is poised to get worse. A new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) due out Friday estimates food and feed prices could surge 7 percent to 22 percent above already elevated levels due to the war.
In real terms — with prices adjusted for inflation — costs are approaching, but not yet surpassing, the global food crisis of 2007 and 2008, when droughts, the rise of biofuels, and a barrage of trade protectionism merged into the worst food inflation since the Soviet grain crisis of the 1970s.
In the short run, the FAO says, large grower countries — Australia, Argentina, India, and the United States — could make up for a portion of the grain shortfalls from Ukraine and Russia. But important factors could worsen the problem.
If the war halts planting in the rich, black soils of Ukraine, wheat shortages will worsen in the coming months. The FAO’s preliminary assessment is that, due to the war, 20 percent to 30 percent of wheat, corn, and sunflower seed will either not be planted or go unharvested during Ukraine’s 2022-2023 season.
The plan is to starve the populace until they submit to the will of the New World Order. Future pandemics, cyber polygon, economic and physical wars combined with the global food crisis make it abundantly clear, you will only be allowed to live as a slave otherwise not.