Moscow has suspended its participation in a UN-backed deal with Kyiv, unblocking the movement of Ukrainian grain from its southern ports, threatening to deepen the global food crisis.
Russia linked its decision to withdraw from the pact to Saturday’s attack on the port of Sevastopol in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
The attack was carried out by the Ukrainian military, which claimed that air defense systems shot down a Ukrainian drone, while a self-destructing vessel damaged naval ships and energy installations.
“In connection with the actions of the Ukrainian army . the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
It also claimed, without evidence, that British experts were involved in the attack, and said it had instructed representatives of the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, which manages the deal, to cease operations.
Russia has hinted for some time that it wants to withdraw from the deal. President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the deal in recent weeks, claiming he is not sending grain to the “poorest countries.”
Rich countries, led by Spain, receive more than half of shipments, according to United Nations data. Middle-income countries, including Turkey and China, accounted for about a quarter of the total, while low- and lower-middle-income countries such as Egypt and Ethiopia received more than a fifth.
The United Nations does not claim the deal is intended to send grain directly to poor countries, but instead says it is meant to make it easier for poor countries to purchase grain. The deal was supposed to lower market prices that had skyrocketed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine said Russia was using a false pretext to withdraw from the agreement.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted: “I warned against Russia’s plans to undermine the Black Sea Grains Initiative.
“Now Moscow is using a false pretext to block the grain corridor that guarantees food security for millions of people. I call on you to demand that you do your duty.”
In a statement, the ministry said Russia’s actions ” [the corridor’s] It works better.” Saturday’s announcement “embodies Moscow’s policy of destabilizing global food security on the pretext of recent events in Sevastopol,” it said.
Kyiv urged the UN and Turkey to “send Russia a clear signal about the unacceptable hold” as the guarantor of the grain deal. [on] Hundreds of millions of people around the world including Africa, Asia and Latin America. ”
Mikhail Podlyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, tweeted that Russia was guilty of “nuclear extortion, energy terrorism and grain blockade.”
“Putin has turned food, cold and prices into weapons against the world. Putin’s Russia is waging a mixed war against Europe, holding Africa and the Middle East hostage,” he said.
early this month, The Financial Times reported A UN-backed deal that allowed Ukraine to export millions of tons of wheat was strained as a surge in the number of cargo ships attempting to cross the Black Sea caused backlogs.
The United Nations said it was in contact with Russian authorities on the matter.
“All parties should refrain from actions that would jeopardize the Black Sea Grains Initiative, an important humanitarian initiative that has a demonstrably positive impact on food access for millions of people around the world. It’s important,” spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said. For the UN Secretary-General.
“By entering into this agreement, Russia recognized its responsibility to ensure that the ongoing conflict does not jeopardize global food security,” said John of the International Chamber of Commerce, who was involved in developing the agreement. Director W. H. Denton said:
“There will undoubtedly be arguments and counter-arguments about today’s incident in the Black Sea. We have to recognize that,” said Denton.
“Failing this deal is not an option for the millions of people who expect it to exist on a daily basis across developing countries,” he said.
https://www.ft.com/content/3e700f18-81bc-4336-b944-ba7c1146c6e5 Russia withdraws UN deal to allow Ukrainian grain exports