Ukraine will face serious food shortages and rising food prices because of the coronavirus, announced the pro-Kremlin online publication, illustrating their alarmist fake story with empty supermarket shelves.

The publication cites Alexey Doroshenko, an expert from Russia’s National Council on Economic Development who claims that problems with food supplies in Ukraine have already begun as the number of merchant ships from China to Ukraine has shrunk drastically and the processing of those who do deliver goods to Ukraine has become more complicated because of the coronavirus.

 “Everything is standing still, suppliers are looking for new supply channels from China, Ukraine is threated with a shortage of Chinese exotic fruit and grain” Doroshenko claims.

These alarmist claims are the opinions of one obscure so-called expert and they are not supported by any evidence and there is no evidence that Ukrainian customs have introduced any new restrictions on the import of goods from China.

In a recent interview with  the RBK news agency,  Ukraine’s Customs Service chief Maxim Nefyodov said he does not foresee catastrophic risks for Ukraine in the future because of the virus. There are preliminary reports that some factories are shortening the work week because of the virus and that might lead to higher prices on goods from China, but the impact of such a move is difficult to predict.

China is Ukraine’s third largest supplier of imported goods after Russia and Germany. Ukrainians buy Chinese mobile phones, computers, electronics, children’s toys, spare parts and cars. To say that Ukraine is heavily dependent on China for food and grain imports is a gross overstatement, as the country is a major food producer in its own right. 

According to Ukraine’s National Bank, the impact of the Chinese coronavirus on Ukraine’s economy will be limited and will mainly effect metal production with the decline in metal prices being offset by lower prices for oil resources. Ukraine’s economy is not projected to suffer from the impact of the ever expanding coronavirus and to claim that supermarket shelves will soon be empty of food is to resort to alarmist sensationalism.