Russia's changing role in the international agri-food system and why it matters
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionWegren, S. K. & Nilssen, F. (2021). Russia's changing role in the international agri-food system and why it matters. Post-Communist Economies, 33(8), 939-968. doi: 10.1080/14631377.2021.1943914
The Soviet Union and its successor was an outsider in the global institutional framework that regulated food trade. It was an irregular participant in the global trade system and it entered the global market when it needed to import grain. In the post-Soviet period, Russia’s role in the international food system was as an importer, mainly meat products. In the past decade, Russia’s role in the international food trade system has changed from being a food importer to an importer and exporter. Russia has emerged as a major supplier of wheat to global markets, participating regularly in the trading system. In recent years, authoritarian states have become the main customers of Russian agri-food exports, which is important because Russian food may prevent the threat of food insecurity from combining with other grievances to cause social unrest or political instability in those illiberal states.