U.S. accuses Russia of “weaponizing meals” after halting Ukraine grain exports

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday accused the Kremlin of “weaponizing meals” after it introduced that it will droop its participation in an settlement permitting grain exports to go away Ukrainian ports.

Driving the information: Russia introduced a halt to the settlement Saturday after accusing U.Ok. navy personnel of directing Ukrainian drone assaults on ships in Crimea.

  • The U.Ok. denied the allegations, saying the false claims are supposed to distract from Russian navy failures in Ukraine.

What they’re saying: “In suspending this association, Russia is once more weaponizing meals within the battle it began, immediately impacting low- and middle-income international locations and international meals costs, and exacerbating already dire humanitarian crises and meals insecurity,” Blinken mentioned in an announcement Saturday, including that the U.S. urged Russia to renew its participation within the settlement.

  • President Biden mentioned Saturday that Russia’s determination was “purely outrageous” and “going to extend hunger,” in keeping with a transcript from the White Home.
  • “Russia’s determination to droop participation within the Black Sea deal places at dangers the principle export route of a lot wanted grain and fertilisers to deal with the worldwide meals disaster brought on by its battle in opposition to Ukraine,” Josep Borrell, the EU’s overseas coverage chief, tweeted Sunday. “The EU urges Russia to revert its determination.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned in an announcement Saturday that Russia has been “intentionally aggravating the meals disaster” since September.

  • “From September to in the present day, 176 vessels have already gathered within the grain hall, which can not comply with their route. Some grain carriers have been ready for greater than three weeks. That is a fully deliberate blockade by Russia,” Zelensky added.
  • “How can Russia be among the many G20 whether it is intentionally working for hunger on a number of continents?”
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The massive image: Ukraine is without doubt one of the world’s high exporters of wheat, sunflower oil and different agricultural merchandise.

  • Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports within the first few months of the battle contributed to a deepening meals disaster all over the world, particularly in Africa.
  • However in July, an settlement brokered by the United Nations with the assistance of Turkey allowed for the resumption of Ukrainian grain exports in August.
  • The Joint Coordination Heart, the physique established to coordinate exports of foodstuffs from Ukraine, mentioned it was “discussing subsequent steps” in gentle of Russia’s determination, Politico reported.
  • U.N. Secretary-Basic António Guterres is “deeply involved” concerning the settlement’s pause and has delayed journey to the Arab League Summit to deal with the matter, his spokesperson mentioned in an announcement Sunday.