US President Joe Biden has described Russia’s announcement that it is pulling out of a UN-brokered deal to allow the export of grain from Ukraine as “purely outrageous” and said it would “increase starvation.” The EU and UK also condemned the decision.
Russia suspended the agreement that allow exports from Black Sea ports after drone strikes against its naval vessels, a move that is threatening to exacerbate the global food crisis.
The Russian declaration came one day after UN Chief Antonio Guterres urged Russia and Ukraine to renew the grain export deal. Guterres also urged other countries to expedite the removal of obstacles blocking Russian grain and fertiliser exports.
Guterres said the grain deal helps “to cushion the suffering that this global cost-of-living crisis is inflicting on billions of people.”
“It is vital that all parties refrain from any action that would imperil the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which is a critical humanitarian effort that is clearly having a positive impact on access to food for millions of people,” said UN spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric.
The UN-brokered grain deal saw more than nine million tons of grain exported from Ukraine during the current war and began to bring down soaring global food prices.
Did you know?
In 2020, Ukraine exported $4.61B in wheat, making it the 5th largest exporter of wheat in the world.