July 18 () –
The Secretary of the Department of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, has assured that the Russian refusal to continue the grain agreement “harms millions of hungry people around the world.”
“Russia’s refusal to extend the Black Sea Grains Initiative harms millions of hungry people around the world. The use of food as a weapon is intolerable. We urge Russia to back down,” Blinken said in his twitter account.
In this sense, the Secretary of State has assured in a press conference that the Russian decision is already having an impact on the markets and that “prices are rising”.
“The bottom line is that it’s inconceivable. It shouldn’t happen. It should be restored as soon as possible. And I hope that all countries will watch this very closely. They will see that Russia is responsible for denying food to people who desperately need it all over the world, and of contributing to rising prices at a time when many countries continue to experience very difficult inflation,” added Blinken.
In addition, he has explained that the G7 sanctions were not being applied to Russian food and fertilizers, as Russia feared, and has accused him of not cooperating with the World Food Program by focusing its exports on the highest-income countries. tall.
“This decision is consistent with Russia’s veto last week of a UN Security Council resolution that sought to reauthorize critical cross-border humanitarian aid for Syrians. These cynical actions harm the world’s most vulnerable,” Blinken criticized. , in reference to the Russian veto on said aid.
According to data offered in a statement from the State Department, the grain agreement has allowed since its inception the shipment of more than 32 million metric tons of Ukrainian grain to the rest of the world, including the regions most in need such as the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, Yemen or Afghanistan.
For his part, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has condemned Russia’s “unilateral decision” to withdraw from the grain agreement, and has stated that “illegal war” is “harming millions of vulnerable people.”
The Russian authorities have announced this Monday that the country is ending the grain export agreement reached for the first time in July 2022 in the midst of the Russian invasion of Ukraine after denouncing breaches by Kiev.
They have also clarified that the expiration of the agreement implies the closure of the maritime humanitarian corridor in the northwest of the Black Sea and the dissolution of the joint coordination center in Istanbul, created as a result of the pact. In addition, Moscow has withdrawn security guarantees for navigation in the immediate vicinity.
The grain export agreement was reached a year ago in the Turkish city of Istanbul with the mediation of the Turkish authorities and the United Nations. The pact allowed Ukrainian grain and Russian agricultural products to be exported through ports on the Black Sea and the Bosphorus Strait. Over the weekend, Putin insisted that he did not perceive compliance with the conditions to extend said agreement, which expired this Monday.