Trade and Foreign Affairs minister, E. P. Chet Greene says the impacts of the war in Europe on the region could extend beyond increased fuel prices if it is not resolved quickly.
On Monday, Minister Greene said Antigua and Barbuda will remain in step with the position of the international community regarding its handling of Russian interests.
While Antigua and Barbuda does not have laws that speak specifically to the implementation of sanctions on other sovereign nations, it has indicated that it will suspend ties with Russians and Belarusians in respect of the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).
The country has also requested a list of Russian individuals and companies named on international sanctions lists in order to remain compliant with the international community’s restrictions on these parties.
This said, the region of Europe now embroiled in the war is not just an important oil conduit; it also plays a major role in the world’s food supply chain.
Minister Greene warns that lengthy conflict in the region could have economic implications for Antigua and Barbuda that extend beyond increased fuel prices.
“We also run the risk of seeing an escalation in inflation in food prices in particular, and even the possibility of food shortages.
“Russia and Ukraine account for almost 70 percent of the world’s grains, and when you look at that kind of reality, it tells you that we are in a spot of bother,” Greene said.
The minister said he predicts that the Caribbean will be particularly affected by shortages created by the broken supply chain caused by widespread travel and trade sanctions on the war-torn European region.
“We are bracing for the worst, but hoping for the best, the best meaning that the war will not be protracted and that we can see a return to some kind of normalcy where prices of oil will drop; where the potential for food shortages will not become a reality and certainly where the inflationary arrangements brought on by the pandemic are not made any worse.”