A senior Russian government official has threatened to limit exports of agriculture products to "friendly" countries only amid sanctions from Western nations in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
"The priority in food supplies is our domestic market. And price control," he continued. "We will supply food and crops only to our friends (fortunately, we have a lot of them, and they are not at all in Europe and not in North America). We will sell both for rubles and for their national currency in agreed proportions."
He then explained that Russia would not supply products and agricultural products to those countries it deems as "enemies."
Russia serves as a major global exporter of several commodities, including sunflower oil, barley, and wheat; the latter of which it mainly supplies to Africa and the Middle East.
The European Union and Ukraine are its main competitors in the wheat trade, which manifests as items such as pasta, bread, cereal, and fried foods for consumers.
A ban on exports of certain agriculture products to so-called "unfriendly" countries could put further pressure on those nations that are already bracing for potential food shortages resulting from the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine and subsequent western sanctions.
However, it is unlikely that the United States would likely experience any significant shortages, whereas European countries that are more dependent on Russia for imports, as well as less economically developed nations, could see fewer products on supermarket shelves.
Medvedev’s remark comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin set a deadline for customers from "unfriendly" countries, which includes all member states of the European Union, to start paying for Russian gas deliveries in roubles or face being cut off.