wheat

The war in Ukraine has delivered a shock to global energy markets. Now the planet is facing a deeper crisis: a shortage of food.

A New York Times report (March 20, 2022) on global food crisis due to the Ukraine war said:

‘A crucial portion of the world’s wheat, corn and barley is trapped in Russia and Ukraine because of the war, while an even larger portion of the world’s fertilizers is stuck in Russia and Belarus. The result is that global food and fertilizer prices are soaring. Since the invasion last month, wheat prices have increased by 21 percent, barley by 33 percent and some fertilizers by 40 percent.

‘The upheaval is compounded by major challenges that were already increasing prices and squeezing supplies, including the pandemic, shipping constraints, high energy costs and recent droughts, floods and fires.

‘Now economists, aid organizations and government officials are warning of the repercussions: an increase in world hunger.

‘The looming disaster is laying bare the consequences of a major war in the modern era of globalization. Prices for food, fertilizer, oil, gas and even metals like aluminum, nickel and palladium are all rising fast — and experts expect worse as the effects cascade.

‘“Ukraine has only compounded a catastrophe on top of a catastrophe,” said David M. Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Program, the United Nations agency that feeds 125 million people a day. “There is no precedent even close to this since World War II.”’

The report said:

‘Ukrainian farms are about to miss critical planting and harvesting seasons. European fertilizer plants are significantly cutting production because of high energy prices. Farmers from Brazil to Texas are cutting back on fertilizer, threatening the size of the next harvests.

‘China, facing its worst wheat crop in decades after severe flooding, is planning to buy much more of the world’s dwindling supply. And India, which ordinarily exports a small amount of wheat, has already seen foreign demand more than triple compared with last year.

‘Around the world, the result will be even higher grocery bills. In February, U.S. grocery prices were already up 8.6 percent over a year prior, the largest increase in 40 years, according to government data. Economists expect the war to further inflate those prices.

‘For those living on the brink of food insecurity, the latest surge in prices could push many over the edge. After remaining mostly flat for five years, hunger rose by about 18 percent during the pandemic to between 720 million and 811 million people. Earlier this month, the United Nations said that the war’s impact on the global food market alone could cause an additional 7.6 million to 13.1 million people to go hungry.

‘The World Food Program’s costs have already increased by $71 million a month, enough to cut daily rations for 3.8 million people. “We’ll be taking food from the hungry to give to the starving,” Mr. Beasley said.

‘Rising prices and hunger also present a potential new dimension to the world’s view of the war. Could they further fuel anger at Russia and calls for intervention? Or would frustration be targeted at the Western sanctions that are helping to trap food and fertilizer?’

It added:

‘While virtually every country will face higher prices, some places could struggle to find enough food at all.

‘Armenia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Eritrea have imported virtually all of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine and must find new sources. But they are competing against much larger buyers, including Turkey, Egypt, Bangladesh and Iran, which have obtained more than 60 percent of their wheat from the two warring countries.

‘And all of them will be bidding on an even smaller supply because China, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of wheat, is expected to buy much more than usual on world markets this year. On March 5, China revealed that severe flooding last year had delayed the planting of a third of the country’s wheat crop, and now the upcoming harvest looks bleak.

‘“This year’s seedling situation can be said to be the worst in history,” said China’s agriculture minister, Tang Renjian.’

The New York Times report said:

‘Rising food prices have long been a catalyst for social and political upheavals in poor African and Arab countries, and many subsidize staples like bread in efforts to avoid such problems. But their economies and budgets — already strained by the pandemic and high energy costs — are now at risk of buckling under the cost of food, economists said.

‘Tunisia struggled to pay for some food imports before the war and now is trying to prevent an economic collapse. Inflation has already set off protests in Morocco and is helping stir renewed unrest and violent crackdowns in Sudan.

‘“A lot of people think that this is just going to mean that their bagels are going to become more expensive. And that’s absolutely true, but that’s not what this is about,” said Ben Isaacson, a longtime agriculture analyst with Scotiabank. Since the 1970s, North Africa and the Middle East have grappled with repeated uprisings. “What actually led to people going into the streets and protesting?” he said. “It starts from food shortages and from food price inflation.”

‘Countries afflicted by protracted conflict, including Yemen, Syria, South Sudan and Ethiopia, are already facing severe hunger emergencies that experts fear could quickly worsen.

‘In Afghanistan, aid workers warn that the humanitarian crisis has already been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, making it more difficult to feed the roughly 23 million Afghans — more than half the population — who do not have enough to eat.

‘Nooruddin Zaker Ahmadi, the director of Bashir Navid Complex, an Afghan imports company, said that prices were rising across the board. It took him five days in Russia this month to find cooking oil. He bought 15-liter cartons for $30 each and will sell them at the Afghan market for $35. Before the war, he sold them for $23.

‘“The United States thinks it has only sanctioned Russia and its banks,” he said. “But the United States has sanctioned the whole world.”

‘For the global food market, there are few worse countries to be in conflict than Russia and Ukraine. Over the past five years, they have together accounted for nearly 30 percent of the exports of the world’s wheat, 17 percent of corn, 32 percent of barley, a crucial source of animal feed, and 75 percent of sunflower seed oil, an important cooking oil in some parts of the world.

‘Russia has largely been unable to export food because of sanctions that have effectively cut it off financially. Ukraine, meanwhile, has been cut off physically. Russia has blocked the Black Sea for exports, and Ukraine lacks enough rail cars to transport food overland.

‘What is now becoming more worrisome is the next harvest, particularly in Ukraine. On March 11, Ukraine’s agriculture minister begged allies for 1,900 rail cars of fuel, saying that the country’s farms had run out after supplies were diverted to the military. Without that fuel, he said, Ukrainian farmers would be unable to plant or harvest.

‘There are other hurdles. The United Nations estimated that up to 30 percent of Ukrainian farmland could become a war zone. And with millions of Ukrainians fleeing the country or joining the front lines, far fewer can work the fields.

‘Russian and Ukrainian wheat is not easily replaced. Inventories are already tight in the United States and Canada, according to the United Nations, while Argentina is limiting exports and Australia is already at full shipping capacity. Over the past year, wheat prices are up 69 percent. Among other major food exports of Russia and Ukraine, corn prices are up 36 percent and barley 82 percent.’

It said:

‘The war also threatens another longer-term shock to the food markets: a shortage of fertilizer.

‘Matt Huie, a farmer near Corpus Christi, Texas, said that skyrocketing prices had already forced him to stop applying fertilizer to the grazing fields that nourish his hundreds of cows, assuring that they will be skinnier come slaughter. Now he is worried he will have to also reduce fertilizer for his next corn crop, which would slash its yield. “We’ve gotten into uncharted territory,” he said.

‘Russia is the world’s largest fertilizer exporter, providing about 15 percent of the world supply. This month, just as farmers around the world prepared for planting, Russia told its fertilizer producers to halt exports. Sanctions already were making such transactions difficult.

‘Sanctions also have hit Russia’s closest ally, Belarus, a leading producer of potash-based fertilizer, critical for many major crops including soybeans and corn. But even before the Ukraine war, Belarus’s fertilizer exports were blocked because of sanctions over its seizure of an expatriate dissident who had been a passenger in a Ryanair jetliner forced to land in the country.

‘In another ominous signal to fertilizer customers, earlier this month European fertilizer producers said they were slowing or halting production because of soaring energy prices. Many fertilizers are made with natural gas.

‘The world’s major fertilizers have now more than doubled or tripled in price over the past year.

‘Brazil, the world’s largest producer of soybeans, purchases nearly half its potash fertilizer from Russia and Belarus. It now has just three months of stockpiles left. The national soybean farmers association has instructed members to use less fertilizer, if any, this season. Brazil’s soybean crop, already diminished by a severe drought, is now likely to be even smaller.

‘“They’re preventing fertilizers from getting to producing countries,” said Antonio Galvan, the soybean association’s president, criticizing international sanctions. “How many millions are going starve to death because of the lack of these fertilizers?”

‘Brazil sells most of its soybeans to China, which uses much of the crop to feed livestock. Fewer, more expensive soybeans could force ranchers to cut back on such animal feed, meaning smaller cows, pigs and chickens — and higher prices for meat.’

The New York Times report said:

‘Jon Bakehouse, a corn and soybean farmer in Hastings, Iowa, said he prepaid for fertilizer late last year because he worried about a looming shortage.

‘His fertilizer still has not arrived, and he now has less than a month to apply it to his corn crop. Without it, he said, his yields would be halved.

‘“You know when they show the cars jumping in slow motion and the passengers inside are up in the air? That is what it feels like,” he said. “We are all just kind of suspended in the air, waiting for the car to land. Who knows if it is going to be a nice, gentle landing, or if it is going to be a nosedive into the ditch.”’

Global Growth Faces Threat, Says OECD

The Organization for Economic Development (OECD) said on Thursday that the war in Ukraine could cut global economic growth by more than one percentage point in the first year after its start.

According to the OECD, its impact could also cause a “deep recession” in Russia if it is sustained. Consumer prices are expected to rise globally by approximately 2.5%, the report said.

Growth in the EU will be hardest hit, with a decline of 1.5% in gross domestic product, OECD’s chief economist Laurence Boone told The Globe and Mail. The U.S. is expected to fare better, with an impact of around 0.8%, she added.

Those countries “that have a common border with either Russia or Ukraine” would feel the impact most due to the refugee flows from Ukraine, the OECD said. The price shock, however, might be felt more intensely by those in developing countries.

“Well-designed and carefully targeted fiscal support could reduce the negative impact on growth with only a minor extra impetus to inflation,” said the report. It suggested that some governments could provide a one-off windfall tax on energy companies to help households cope with higher bills.

The OECD also said that central banks should mostly stick to the interest rate plans set out before the conflict broke out. “Monetary policy should remain focused on ensuring well-anchored inflation expectations,” it said, adding “Most central banks should continue their pre-war plans, with the exception of the most affected economies, where a pause may be needed to fully assess the consequences of the crisis.”

Milk Prices To Rise

Global prices for milk are reportedly facing a further dramatic growth due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, adding to the existing pressures from rising energy costs and disruptions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Supply chain disruption due to Covid has already caused the price of products vital to dairy production, such as whole milk powder and anhydrous milk fats, to skyrocket.

In January, producers in Australia, New Zealand (which alone controls about 35% of global milk exports), the EU, the US, and Argentina saw an output drop of 1.7% year-on-year, according to data from commodity broker StoneX, as quoted by the Financial Times.

New Zealand and the EU together account for around 70% of all milk exports, followed by the US, Australia, Brazil and Argentina. However, output has fallen steeply, with New Zealand and Australia posting declines of over 6%.

Anhydrous milk fat hit a record price of $7,111 per ton on March 15, while whole milk powder surged to an eight-year high this month.

“The conflict in Ukraine has added to an already complex Covid-19 operating environment, impacting global supply chains, the oil price, and the global supply of grains,” Miles Hurrell, chief executive at New Zealand multinational dairy co-operative Fonterra told the FT.

Russia, Ukraine, and China are leading exporters of both nitrogen-based fertilizers and wheat – a vital feed for cattle along with corn and soy. The issues in gas supply, worsened by the offensive in Ukraine, together with the pandemic restrictions imposed in China after another Covid outbreak, have made both difficult to acquire.

The combination of all those factors makes production “bloody expensive,” said Craig Hough, director of policy and strategy at Australian Dairy Farmers.

Global Auto Market In Trouble

Auto market data provider S&P Global Mobility said on Wednesday that the shortages hampering global vehicle production are expected to persist into 2022 before supply catches up with demand in early 2023. The agency has downgraded its outlook for world light-vehicle output by 2.6 million units for both years, to 81.6 million for 2022 and 88.5 million units for 2023.

S&P experts cited issues relating to the supply of Ukrainian neon gas, a key ingredient for chip making, and to the loss of Ukraine-sourced wiring harnesses. “In addition, the complete loss of Russian palladium is a tail risk with the potential to become the industry’s biggest supply constraint,” the report said.

“Our worst-case contingency shows possible reductions up to four million units for this and next year,” S&P Global Mobility’s executive director for global production forecasting Mark Fulthorpe said.

The Ukraine crisis has added to the pains suffered by automakers, who had been grappling with high prices due to Covid-related disruptions, including semiconductor shortages. This week major car manufacturers announced they will shut down plants and raise prices further as supply issues mount.

Foreign Fighters, But No Guns

Fighters willing to fight the Russian army in Ukraine are facing troubles. They are finding no guns, not even helmets.

A Washington Post report – No gun. No helmet. No action: The frustrations of some novice Americans who signed up to fight in Ukraine – by Sudarsan Raghavan said:

‘Before he decided to buy a one-way plane ticket to Ukraine, Adam worked two jobs, as a security guard and as a cashier at a dollar store. He owned guns and fired them at shooting ranges, but the only fighting he had ever done was in mixed martial arts classes.

‘That didn’t stop the tall, lanky 24-year-old from Thousand Oaks, a Los Angeles suburb, from flying to this war-torn capital earlier this month. He joined a new international legion set up to fight Russian forces about 15 miles outside the city.

‘Adam, sporting camouflage pants, is unfazed by his inexperience in combat. He will rely, he said, on sheer determination — to save Ukraine and protect American values.’

It said:

‘Since Russia invaded Ukraine, thousands of Americans and other foreign nationals have signed up to fight for Ukraine, answering a call to action by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Now, with the conflict in its fourth week, a growing number of foreign volunteers are flowing into the capital, signing contracts and receiving weapons and combat training before getting deployed to one of the numerous front lines of the war.

‘They have been compared to the 32,000 foreigners, mostly Americans and Europeans, many of them equally unprepared, who joined the republican forces in Spain’s 1936-39 civil war. That conflict became a losing battle against nationalists led by General Francisco Franco, with the support of Nazi Germany and the fascist Italian government of Benito Mussolini.

‘In Ukraine’s brutal modern war, though, the romance of adventure and political convictions can quickly vanish as volunteers get pounded by airstrikes, Grad rockets and artillery shells, or engage in urban warfare on the streets of cities.

‘While some experienced American veterans of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are said to be among the volunteers, many of these would-be fighters, like Adam, are novices at best.’

The report said:

‘All the foreign volunteers interviewed for this article did not want their last names to be used. Some were concerned about their security, while others wanted to protect their relatives or had not yet told their families they were in Ukraine to fight the Russians.

‘It remains unclear what added utility the arriving foreign recruits can bring as soldiers, medical aides or logistics personnel on the battlefields.

‘And the government’s volunteer program, at times, appears to be disorganized, according to interviews with five volunteers and an ethnic Georgian commander who has enlisted Americans and other foreigners into his own paramilitary force in Ukraine. Some would-be fighters are processed in their home nations. Others are landing in the capital without contacts or speaking the language, hoping that someone will get them trained and shipped to the front.

‘If nothing else, the foreigners may be useful for public relations purposes, demonstrating the global support for Ukraine.

‘“This is a way of tying in populations from other countries to the Ukrainian war and the outcome of the war,” said Ilmari Kaihko, an associate professor of war studies at the Swedish Defense University who has researched Ukraine’s conflict. “The political might be more important in the long term than the actual military contribution.”

‘But there is concern that some of these American and other Western volunteers could become liabilities on the battlefield. If Americans get captured by Russian forces, they could become fodder for the Kremlin’s propaganda machine, held up as evidence that Ukraine’s resistance is really an American and Western plot. If they get killed, it could bring more pressure on the United States to retaliate.’

It cited one fighter, who ‘for months, he was planning to move to Israel and join the Israel Defense Forces, he said. But he decided to make a stop in Ukraine first.’

The Washington Post report said:

‘As many as 20,000 foreigners have expressed interest in joining the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine, as it is officially called, according to the Ukrainian government. That includes an estimated 4,000 Americans, an official with the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington told The Washington Post last week.’

It said:

‘Each volunteer would receive a salary of roughly $3,000 a month, the same as a soldier, said Yaroslav, a Ukrainian military officer and head organizer of the International Legion in western Ukraine who declined to give his last name for security reasons.

‘There are already concerns about the international legion. Volunteers complain of delays in contracts, extensive paperwork, not getting weapons or training quickly enough, and days of waiting before getting assigned to battlefield units.

‘“There is a big bureaucracy, even now when there is war, and those guys have to experience that bureaucracy,” said Mamuka Mamulashvili, commander of the Georgian National Legion, a paramilitary force that has been fighting Russian separatists and forces in eastern Ukraine for eight years. “For me, it seems very amateur.”

‘He said “there is a very big flow” of inexperienced Americans and foreigners wanting to fight in Ukraine. “We cannot just take some guy from Brooklyn who wants to fight on the front line,” he said, adding that anyone with no military experience is turned away from his force.’

It added:

‘All could face risks on the battlefield, and not just from bullets and bombs: A spokesman for Russia’s Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, recently described the foreign volunteers as “mercenaries” who, if caught, could be “prosecuted as criminals.”

‘Legally, Americans can take part in another country’s war. But the Biden administration has urged U.S. military veterans and other Americans not to join the Ukrainian forces and to leave if they are already in the country.’

The report said about some fighters:

‘Steps away stood other volunteers, among them a German who said he had served in Afghanistan for 4½ months with the German military, part of the NATO security forces there, and a Scottish grandfather who said he was a British army veteran and that he had fought against the Islamic State in Syria with the YPG, or the People’s Protection Units, a mainly Kurdish militia.

‘Some have been waiting for nearly 10 days for their contracts and other paperwork to be approved.’

The report said about another fighter Adam:

‘Adam still hadn’t received a bulletproof vest, a helmet — or a weapon. And he could hear the sounds of shelling, he said.’

‘“They expect me to guard the base with no guns, no armor, no vest, no helmet and no knowledge of the Ukrainian language,” he continued. “It makes absolutely no sense. I am not going to stand around and get hit with a missile with no guns or nothing. If am going to die, I’d rather get to the front line and do that.”’

Biden To Hold Call With European, UK Leaders

A Bloomberg News report said:

U.S. President Joe Biden planned to hold a call with European leaders Monday.

They planned to discuss a coordinated response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Biden will travel Friday to Warsaw and meet with President Andrzej Duda, the White House said in a separate statement.

Australia Bans Exports to Russia

Australia, World’s Top Alumina Supplier, announced a ban on alumina shipments to Russia, a move that will put further pressure on aluminum giant United Co. Rusal International PJSC. Australia accounts for nearly 20% of Russia’s supply of alumina, the key ingredient for producing aluminum.

Aluminum has not been targeted by sanctions, but Rusal, which needs bauxite and alumina to feed its plants, is facing disruption to its supply chains as more companies pull back from doing business with Russia.

White House To Meet Companies

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and other top officials will host an off-record discussion with companies across several industries.

Energy companies like Exxon and ConocoPhillips, refiner Marathon Petroleum Corp., lenders like JPMorgan and Bank of America Corp., as well as agricultural and manufacturing firms will be among the attendees.

The meeting comes as the White House has publicly called on energy suppliers to step up production after a jump in prices, while criticizing executives who have said they are prioritizing investor returns over additional output.

Peace Talks Are Continuing

Peace talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials are tentatively planned to continue on Monday, according to Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak. The timing depends on progress by working groups in the negotiations, he said in a WhatsApp message.

Podolyak told Bloomberg Television on Friday that the talks could take several weeks.

Fonterra Exits Russian Joint Venture

New Zealand dairy producer Fonterra said it is withdrawing from the Unifood joint venture in Russia after little more than three years and closing its office in Moscow.

Fonterra has already halted shipments to Russia, which account for about 1% of its annual exports, mainly butter, CEO Miles Hurrell said in a statement.

Germany Opens Door to Qatar LNG Imports

Qatar said it agreed to work on supplying Germany with liquefied natural gas as Europe’s biggest economy seeks to reduce its dependence on Russian gas.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said during talks in Doha on Sunday that his government plans to fast-track two LNG import terminals in Germany, QatarEnergy said in a statement.

Both countries agreed “that their respective commercial entities would re-engage and progress discussions on long term LNG supplies from Qatar to Germany,” according to the statement.

10 Million Have Fled Homes in Ukraine

Ten million people have fled their homes in Ukraine, including those who have left the country and others displaced within the nation’s borders, said Filippo Grandi, the top UN refugee official.

The majority of Ukrainian refugees have crossed first into Poland, some 2.08 million people so far. Another 40,100 Ukrainians crossed on Saturday and 6,900 early Sunday morning, Polish border authorities said.

Separately, Germany has tripled its expectation for the number of Ukrainian refugees the country may accommodate, to about 1 million from 340,000, Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported.

Ukraine Suspends Russia-Linked Political Parties

Ukraine President Zelenskiy announced the suspension of activities of some opposition parties with alleged connections to Russia, citing martial law.

“Given the full-scale war and ties of some political structures with this state (Russia), the National Security Council of Ukraine has decided to suspend any activity of a number of political parties,” Zelenskiy said in a video message on Sunday.

Pakistan, like India, won’t bow to western pressure, Says Pakistan PM

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has again blasted foreign powers, who tried to pressure Pakistan to sever ties with Russia over its military operation in Ukraine, vowing to continue making sovereign policy decisions that are in the best interests of his nation and people.

“For these 3.5 years we have only tried to help Pakistan prosper,” Imran Khan said about his ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, addressing a public gathering in the town of Dargai on Sunday.

The PM explained why he refused to join the international chorus condemning Russia for its attack on Ukraine, saying that Pakistan would have gained nothing by complying with the demand. The diplomats representing nearly two dozen missions, including EU countries along with Japan, Switzerland, Canada, the UK and Australia, “broke protocol by making the request” in a March 1 letter, he added. “I haven’t bowed before anyone and will not let my nation bow either.”

“I took an oath that I will not bow before anyone but God,” Khan reiterated, bringing up the US-led global war on terror as an example of policy decision forced by the West that eventually brought Pakistan nothing but suffering. “We became part of America’s war against terror in Afghanistan and lost 80,000 people and $100 billion.”

Pakistan has come under increased Western pressure to publicly denounce and distance itself from Moscow, after it abstained from a UN General Assembly resolution condemning Moscow’s military actions against Kiev, choosing instead to remain neutral alongside 34 other countries, including China, South Africa and India.

Despite being a vocal critic of the Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Khan gave credit to the neighboring country for making “independent” decisions in the interests of their citizens.

India is also facing international pressure and criticism for staying neutral and adopting a pragmatic approach to ensure the country’s own energy security. New Delhi continues to buy Russian oil, available at discounted prices, as some countries have been avoiding it in fear of retaliatory sanctions from the U.S.

NATO’s True Stance On Ukraine Accession: Zelensky Reveals

Ukraine’s President Zelensky revealed the true stance of the U.S.-led NATO alliance on Ukraine’s prospects of joining, in an interview with CNN on Sunday. While refusing in private to accept the country, the alliance has maintained a public illusion of a potential accession, he claimed.

The ongoing conflict with Russia could have been prevented if NATO accepted Ukraine in time, Zelensky has also said.

“If we were a NATO member, a war wouldn’t have started. I’d like to receive security guarantees for my country, for my people,” Zelensky told CNN, reiterating his calls on the US-led alliance to take his country in. “If NATO members are ready to see us in the alliance, then do it immediately, because people are dying on a daily basis… If you want to see us in this dubious position where we don’t understand whether you can accept us or not – you cannot place us in this situation, you cannot force us to be in this limbo.”

While the alliance has publicly recognized Ukraine as its “special partner,” its stance in private has been quite different, Zelensky revealed. “I requested them personally to say directly that we are going to accept you into NATO in a year or two or five, just say it directly and clearly, or just say no. And the response was very clear, you’re not going to be a NATO member, but publicly, the doors will remain open.”

Top Ukrainian officials, including Zelensky himself, have repeatedly reiterated the country’s NATO aspirations. The ambitions even got incorporated into Ukraine’s constitution in 2019 under then-President Petro Poroshenko. NATO itself appeared to have been welcoming towards such aspirations, formally recognizing them in the 2008 Bucharest Summit Declaration, when the bloc’s members agreed the country would eventually become a member.

The eastward expansion of the bloc, and Ukraine’s proclaimed resolve to join it in particular, have been among the top security concerns repeatedly voiced by Russia. NATO, however, has effectively rejected discussing these issues, maintaining that no third party, and especially not Moscow, should have any say regarding anyone’s aspiration to join the alliance.


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  1. "Slavic Christian Society" says:

    US, CANADA, UKRAINE AND RUSSIA 2022 DISPUTES – HISTORICAL BACKGROUND AND SEQUEL TO FR. PETER MORELLO’S COMMENTS: (1) US, Canada, Ukraine and Russia are Caucasian-European nations by ethnic majority and nominally Christian nations by religious majority; (2) Ukraine and Russia are also Slavic nations and neighbors with similar laws (limits) on abortion and LGBT; (3) Russia was US’ supporter in the American Revolution at great cost to herself – the island of Menorca; (4) Russia was US’ supporter in the Civil War when US’ opponents were Britain and France, prompting US Secretary of Navy, Gideon Welles to say “God bless the Russians”; (5) US (western Alaska) and Russia are neighbors, and Canada (northwestern Yukon) is closer to Russia than to Britain and France or Mexico; (6) US and Russia were never at war, not counting the Cold War or proxy wars, as compared, for example, with the “G7” nations; (7) US, Canada, NATO and Ukraine have disputes with Russia since the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and militarization of countries neighboring Russia which was invaded over the centuries by NATO members Britain, France, Germany, (Mussolini’s) Italy, Romania, Lithuania-Poland, Turkey and by others including Sweden and the Mongols who inflicted on Ukraine and Russia death and destruction with hardly any parallels in world’s history – Germany also helped Lenin to impose psychopathic and deadly Marxism on Ukraine and Russia in 1917, while Ukraine and Russia, mostly by themselves, prevented Poland’s annihilation by Nazis and saved Europe from Nazi Germany and Mongols; (8) Ukraine and Russia have a border dispute, and a military conflict-war since the violations of the February 21, 2014 all-Ukrainian political agreement in Kiev and the violations of the 2014-2015 Minsk Peace Agreement signed by Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France (in the future, a joint venture by the Minsk signatories in securing Ukrainian segment of “Pan-European” gas pipeline might be a “win-win”) – by February 23, 2022 the war took some 15,000 lives and produced thousands of refugees as well as widespread material destruction in eastern Ukraine; on February 24, 2022 Russia escalated the war and invaded Ukraine resulting in many more deaths, refugees and material destruction across Ukraine; (9) US and Russia can destroy each other and the world with their nuclear weapons in an hour; (10) the irreplaceable way forward for resolving these issues are the eternally-valid biblical principles reflected in President Washington’s Farewell Address in which he called religion-morality the foundation of domestic well-being and peace with other nations and in President Lincoln’s last Inaugural Address “… with malice towards none, with charity for all … among ourselves and with all nations”, as well as in Pope Francis’ 2022 call for prayer and political talks centered on “human brotherhood instead of partisan interests”, all the while keeping in mind the 2022 Lenten message “Remember thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return” and “Repent and believe in the Gospel” which also includes “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” and the parable of “the speck and the log” – moral principles given to us by Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace and the just Judge of the world, principles ignored at one’s great peril.