Russia has urged US to take steps and not just make promises for black sea grain deal.
Last month, Russia chose not to renew the deal that permitted Ukraine to export grain from its Black Sea ports during the ongoing war. Russia cited insufficient efforts to remove obstacles to its own food and fertilizer exports as the reason. However, Russia expressed its willingness to renew the agreement once it addresses these issues.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov emphasized, “If they want to fulfill their part of the grain deal with Russia, the Americans must take action, not just make promises.” He added that once they take the necessary actions, they will immediately renew the deal.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in response to Russia’s stance, said on Thursday, “If the agreement is restored, we’ll continue to ensure that everyone can freely and safely export their food and food products, including Russia.”
Global food supply tensions
Western nations have accused Russia of using food as a weapon of war by exiting the Black Sea deal, which previously helped lower global food prices. Additionally, Russia has conducted repeated air strikes on Ukrainian ports and grain facilities in recent weeks.
Russia contends that the deal was ineffective as it did not adequately supply grain to the neediest nations. The country also cites Western sanctions, which affect its food exports due to issues related to port access, insurance, and banking, as further obstacles.
The decision not to renew the Black Sea grain export agreement has also contributed to the ongoing tension between Russia and Ukraine. This escalation in conflict comes at a time when the international community is already grappling with numerous global challenges.
Efforts to address the situation involve diplomatic negotiations and considerations of humanitarian needs, particularly in regions affected by the conflict. Maintaining open channels for grain exports is crucial, as it not only helps stabilize global food prices but also ensures food reaches those in need, both within and outside the conflict zones.