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Russia Plays Hardball With Blockage of Ukraine Grain Exports | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Russia's weapon: blocking Ukraine grain exports

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden shares his view from Bratislava, Slovakia.

What's going to be the effect of the EU sanctions on Russian oil exports?

Well, that's going to be somewhat dependent on what happens primarily with oil price. If the oil price were to go up, then in spite of exporting less quantities, Russia will probably earn more money. If the oil price goes down or stays stable, they will be able to gain less, especially since they will have to export at significant discount prices to the people that are ready to buy their oil. So remains to be seen, but a significant step.

Is there any prospect for really releasing all of the grain for the world markets from Ukraine, that Russia is blocking?

It doesn't look very good. Russia is saying "well, well, well, we can lift the blockage of the Black Sea, but that's only if you lift all of the sanctions on us", so they're playing hardball. But effectively, they are now using the restrictions on grain and other products coming out of Ukraine as a weapon against the rest of the world. And that is of course affecting a lot of people. Different studies say that we have perhaps up to 400 million people, in the poorer part of the world, that's going to be very hardly hit by these particular aspects of the brutal Russian aggression.

Ari Winkleman

The Graphic Truth: Who bought the most Russian oil?

Before Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine, Russia was supplying more than 10% of global crude oil supplies. That share has dwindled in recent months as many countries have (slowly) piled onto a boycott of Russian energy to punish the Kremlin for the ongoing onslaught. To make up the shortfall, the US has been pressuring other oil-producing behemoths – like the Saudis – to up oil production. There are even reports that Washington is contemplating the loosening of sanctions on pariah-state Venezuela to tap into that country’s vast crude oil reserves. We take a look at which countries imported the most crude oil from Russia up until recent embargoes were introduced, as well as which states have the largest proven oil reserves in the world.

This comes to you from the Signal newsletter team of GZERO Media. Subscribe for your free daily Signal today.

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