VLADIVOSTOK, September 7. /TASS/. Western food buying is provoking price rises, it could result in a tragedy for the poorest countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday at a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).
"Soaring prices on global markets could become a real tragedy for most of the poorest countries, which face shortages of food, energy and other vital goods," he said.
Putin pointed out that "the poorest countries are losing access to essential food, because [their] buying up by developed countries provokes a sharp price rise."
The Russian president cited figures that underscore the danger of the problem. "If in 2019, according to the UN, 135 million people in the world were experiencing severe food shortages, now their number has increased 2.5 times, to 345 million people. It's just terrible," Putin stressed.