Talk that sanctions imposed on Russia are creating the conditions for a global famine are entirely false, Yale academics say. ‘There is this myth, particularly in developing countries, that the United States has somehow created aglobal famine,’ they say. Despite Russian propaganda, wheat supplies this year — thanks to bumper crops from the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, from several major wheat-producing countries, thanks to great weather — are actually record crop yields.

Wheat prices have fallen back to where they were before the Russian invasion. Wheat futures are in contango, meaning that future prices are expected to be lower than where prices are now. Wheat from Ukraine would only further increase supply, he said. The initial spike in wheat prices in March and April was driven more by financial markets pricing in a sense of Armageddon, which never came to pass.

Sanctions are having a far more devastating impact on the Russia economy than is being claimed by President Vladimir Putin, says Sonnenfeld. “It’s not reflecting actual fundamentals of supply and demand, because we have increasing supply,” he says. Yale report: “Business retreats and sanctions are crippling the Russian economy.”

"If you live in Russia right now, there is no legal way for you to obtain dollars," he says. "It’s a reflection of capital controls. Simply put, if you live there, there are no legal ways to get dollars," adds the banker.

Yale researchers have found that countries like Estonia and Uzbekistan are benefitting from increased trade with Russia. "You can’t access dollars from Russia, you have to go to other countries," one researcher said. "It’s hard to say how long this will last," another said.
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