12 October 1998
Russia seeks food aid package

By FWi staff

RUSSIA has asked for a massive package of food aid in a desperate effort to fend off starvation during the coming winter.

Russian officials approached both the European Union and the USA with a request for 3 million tonnes of wheat, 1.5 million tonnes of maize, 500,000 tonnes of soya, and 100,000 tonnes of meat.

European officials who visited Moscow on Friday are considering the request after reports that food shortages were threatening some remote northern Russian regions.

Until recently, Russia had denied it would import wheat this season.

But the countrys food supply plummeted last month after imports to Russia fell 45.5% from August.

Russian officials are under further pressure to obtain food aid because this years harvest is the worst for 40 years.