Putin: Western policy mistakes are main reason for high food prices

President Vladimir Putin on Friday rejected suggestions that Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine was responsible for high global food prices, saying Western "mistakes" in the form of monetary stimulus were at the root of the problem.

Putin asserted to a Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg that the United States and the European Union had printed money to buy food as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that "prices skyrocketed."

Putin appeared to be referring to the policy of "quantitative easing" to help major Western economies function under the social and economic disruption of the pandemic.

Putin also said the West had neglected investment in hydrocarbons: "One mistake led to another, it upended markets."