Russia stops involvement in Grain Safe Transport Agreement


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The move comes hours after Russia accused Ukraine of carrying out an attack on the Black Sea Fleet off Sevastopol, Crimea.

The move comes hours after Russia accused Ukraine of carrying out an attack on the Black Sea Fleet off Sevastopol, Crimea.

Lazoni, loaded with 26,000 tons of corn, will leave the Ukrainian port of Odessa in September.

Photo credit: AFP

Russia said it would stop involvement in a deal that would allow the safe transportation of Ukrainian grain exports from Black Sea ports, following drone attacks on its naval vessels.

Shortly after a Defense Ministry statement was posted on Telegram, citing “terrorist acts by the Kyiv regime,” air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also issued a statement, saying the suspension was “indefinite” and that representatives of the coordination center in Istanbul had been sent relevant instructions.

“The Russian side cannot guarantee the safety of civilian dry cargo ships participating in the ‘Black Sea Initiative’ and will suspend its implementation indefinitely from today,” the foreign ministry said.

In response, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba said Moscow was “using the wrong pretext to block the grain corridor” and that Ukraine had “warned” that Russia would undermine the initiative.

The move comes hours after Ukraine accused Ukraine of attacking the Black Sea Fleet off the coast of Sevastopol, Crimea.

Moscow also accused “British experts” of aiding the attack, which the UK Ministry of Defense called “a false claim of epic proportions”.

Russia earlier said the targeted vessel was involved in securing a grain shipment, but said a navy minesweeper suffered only minor damage.

global south

A Ukrainian-Russian pact brokered by the United Nations and Turkey has allowed millions of tons of grain and other agricultural products, which had been stagnant in Ukraine due to Russian aggression, to enter global markets since August. has helped mitigate high food prices that put poor countries at risk of starvation.

About 9.1 million tonnes of goods have left Ukrainian Black Sea ports since the first vessel set sail on August 1.

The UN is “in communication with the Russian authorities” about the suspension, said Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“The Black Sea Grains Initiative is an important humanitarian initiative that has a clear positive impact on food access for millions of people around the world,” he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly complained about the deal, saying not enough shipments are being sent to poor countries. Russia also said its grains and agricultural products were not allowed the same access to global markets.

Claims that developing countries are not benefiting from the Safe Corridor Agreement are not supported by data showing that a significant portion of shipments are destined for these countries. Falling grain prices have also had an overall positive impact on buyers.

Russia recently said some of the hundreds of ships involved in the program were carrying contraband. The United Nations said no unauthorized shipments were recorded.

The Safe Transport Agreement is set to expire in mid-November, and Ukraine recently said it was engaging in tough negotiations to extend it.

Andriy Yermak, head of the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, called Saturday’s decision to withdraw from the grain shipment deal “a wrath of a wrongdoer.”

Zelensky last week accused Russia of deliberately delaying grain exports from Ukrainian ports to prolong the global food crisis, with more than 150 ships waiting to access Black Sea ports.

©2022 Bloomberg LP

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