EU urges Russia to reverse suspension of cooperation in grain deal


The EU on Sunday urged Russia to reverse a decision to suspend its participation in the landmark Black Sea grain deal, which has helped Ukraine export foodstuffs to the rest of the world.

“Russia’s decision to suspend participation in the Black Sea deal puts at risk the main export route of much-needed grain and fertilizers to address the global food crisis caused by its war against Ukraine,” foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement on Twitter.

This came a day after Russia’s Defense Ministry announced the move following alleged attacks on its Black Sea fleet.

It said it took the decision “in the light of the recent events connected to the terrorist attacks against ships of the Black Sea Fleet,” said a ministry statement.

Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement on July 22 in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February. A Joint Coordination Center with officials from the three countries and the UN has been set up in Istanbul to oversee the shipments.

The US met Russia’s decision with regret, saying: “We urge all parties to keep this essential, life-saving Initiative functioning.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken added in the statement that the deal had been critical for low- and middle-income countries.

Blinken accused Moscow of once again weaponizing food in the war it started with Ukraine, further noting that “any act by Russia to disrupt these critical grain exports is essentially a statement that people and families around the world should pay more for food or go hungry.”__The Nation