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The heat of war now reaches to our kitchens

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 3 minutes read

Due to some urgency, I got a chance to visit a nearby departmental store yesterday. I went straight to the refined oil section first to explore the brands and variety available at the store. It was shocking to find that the entire section was almost empty, except a few packets of a particular brand. Otherwise the racks used to be full of a number of brands presenting a lot of choice to choose from. The prices of the packets of cooking oil found there appeared to have increased as compared to previous rates. The same was the case with the mustard oil rack. Everything was available in the range of two hundred rupees or more. The packets kept on the salted snacks rack also displayed a little more price. That is, the heat of Russia’s attack on Ukraine has started reaching our kitchens. Wait for a week, then petrol, diesel and LPG will also be available at increased prices. The war has impacted the prices of sunflower oil, wheat, LPG and crude oil. Due to this, the raw material cost of companies manufacturing consumer goods of daily use has increased. As a result, prices of things like biscuits, soap, shampoo, cooking oil etc. have gone up. However, the trend of increase in prices has been going on for the last three months only. But that increase was due to the third wave of Covid, while Russia’s military attack on Ukraine is behind the recent hike in prices.
It is worth mentioning here that India imports 70 percent sunflower oil from Ukraine and 20 percent from Russia. Oil prices have risen in many countries due to disruptions in the supply of oil from Russia and Ukraine. If we talk about cooking oil, sunflower oil is in great demand along with soybean. After coconut oil, sunflower oil is the most imported oil. India imports more than half of its gas requirement from Ukraine. The economic sanctions of the West are so stringent that their effect is now visible on the 12 lakh crore rupees economy of Russia. After this, President Vladimir Putin gave a threat of nuclear attack. The sanctions will affect not only Russia, but also about 50 other countries including India. Declaring businesses other than oil and gas illegal would halt money transactions outside Russia’s borders. Action on Russia’s central bank means that it will not be able to use its foreign exchange reserves of five lakh crore rupees. The Russian currency Ruble is already down 28 percent.
Meanwhile, Mastercard and Visa have announced the termination of their services in Russia. Any debit or credit cards issued by Russian banks to their customers of these two brands will no longer work, neither in Russia nor in any other country in the world. Even these cards will not work at any Russian stores or ATMs outside the country. Mastercard said that this step should not be taken lightly. They have taken this decision after talking to their customers, partners and governments. Visa said that it’s going to stop all kinds of activities in Russia in the coming days.

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