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The US says no restrictions on farm equipment to Russia

#restrictions #farm #equipment #Russia

The United States said Thursday it would not prevent the sale of farm equipment to Russia, again dismissing Moscow’s claims that Western sanctions – not its invasion of Ukraine – are causing the global food crisis.

The Treasury Department, in a legal form on sanctions waivers, said it will not stop U.S. transactions related to the production, sale or transportation of farm equipment.

In line with previous rules set after the Feb. 24 invasion, the Treasury also said it did not ban agricultural commodities such as fertilizers, as well as medical equipment and Covid-19 testing.

The expansion of the exemptions “reaffirms that U.S. sanctions against Russia in response to its unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine do not stand in the way of trade in agricultural and medical products,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.

Russian President Vladimir “Putin’s war has strangled food and agricultural production, and he has used food as a weapon of war, destroying agricultural storage, processing and testing facilities, stealing grain and farm equipment, and effectively blockading Black Sea ports,” said he.

The US move comes after rare signs of progress between Russia and Ukraine during talks in Turkey over allowing supplies from Ukraine, a major exporter of wheat and other grains.

Shipments across the Black Sea have been blocked by both Russian warships and mines laid by Kyiv to stave off a feared amphibious attack.

Food shortages have increased the risk of starvation for tens of millions of people in Africa and other poor countries.

Foreign Minister Antony Blinken recently said Russian actions had contributed to unrest in Sri Lanka, whose president fled mass protests over dwindling food and fuel supplies and resigned.

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