Russia Again Endangers Global Food, Fertilizer Supplies

Russia is again endangering global food and fertilizer supplies as it backs out of the July Black Sea grain deal that freed up Ukrainian exports.

Russia blames an alleged Ukrainian drone attack on its Black Sea warships moored off occupied Crimea for pulling out of the grain export deal. Ukraine denies the attack, but the November 19th expiration of the grain deal without renewal could reignite hunger and food inflation fears globally.

State Department Spokesman Ned Price spoke earlier on Russia’s blockade; “It is a reflection of Russia’s wanton disregard for lives and livelihoods not only in the region but well beyond.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Russia of again “weaponizing food” in a war it started, directly impacting low and middle-income countries and causing global food crises—a point Price made in July. Price; “Russia has weaponized food during this conflict. They’ve destroyed agricultural facilities, they’ve prevented millions of tons of Ukrainian grain from getting to those who need it.”

The Black Sea grain deal was supposed to end the hunger threat, moving, so far, more than nine million metric tons of food. Prices for wheat and corn on global commodities markets rose on Monday. Russia now says it can no longer guarantee the safety of civilian dry cargo ships participating in the Black Sea initiative and is suspending its implementation for an indefinite period.

U.N., E.U., and NATO officials were trying to save the deal while inbound and outbound cargo ships were still getting inspected, and some were moving over the weekend.

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