Russia’s decision to end its crucial Black Sea grain deal, that allowed Ukraine to export grains from three of its ports, has been met with condemnation from leaders around the world.
The deal allowed cargo ships to export sunflower, maize, wheat and barley from Ukraine, one of the world’s biggest grain producers. The deal has helped stabilise grain prices in the past year and prevent food shortages in some African and Middle Eastern countries.
Russia announced on 17 July via Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov the agreements had reached a ‘de facto’ end. Russia also said Western sanctions were limiting its own ability to export agricultural products. Russia has in addition asked for its state-owned agricultural bank, Rosselkhozbank, to be reconnected to the Swift fast payment system.
The decision is likely to have knock-on effects for poultry producers, as grain prices may rise worldwide.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: “The United Kingdom condemns in the strongest terms Russia’s decision to withdraw from the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine has obstructed the free flow of grain and other foodstuffs through the Black Sea, causing worldwide suffering. We urge Russia to re-join the initiative, which was developed by the UN in 2022, and allow the unimpeded export of grain.”
The European Union also condemned the decision. “With its decision, Russia is further exacerbating the global food security crisis it created by its war of aggression against Ukraine and its blockade of Ukrainian sea ports. Russia must cease illegally blocking Ukrainian sea ports and allow freedom of navigation on the Black Sea.
“By terminating the agreements, Russia is single-handedly blocking one of the crucial main export routes from Ukraine of grains for human consumption and is solely responsible for disruptions of grain deliveries worldwide and fuelling food price inflation globally.”