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 Black Sea Grain Initiative (1) infographic
Graphic shows monthly food exports from Ukraine under the Black Sea grain deal.


Kremlin halts Black Sea grain deal

By Duncan Mil

July 17, 2023 - Russia has halted participation in the year-old UN-brokered Black Sea Initiative that has enabled the export of more than 32 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain, aimed to alleviate a global food crisis.

“In fact, the Black Sea agreements ceased to be valid today,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday (July 17).

“Unfortunately, the part of these Black Sea agreements concerning Russia has not been implemented so far, so its effect is terminated,” Peskov said.

Russia has said it wants an end to sanctions on the Russian Agricultural Bank and restrictions on shipping and insurance that Moscow insists have hampered its agricultural exports.

The grain deal prevented a global food emergency when it was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey last July, halting a de facto blockade of Ukrainian ports by Russia, which agreed to let ships pass after inspections in Turkey.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the Russian and Turkish foreign ministers would talk later on Monday.

“I hope that with this discussion, we can make some progress and continue on our way without a pause,” Erdogan said.

Following the Kremlin announcement, wheat prices in Chicago trading rose about 3% to $6.81 a bushel.

PUBLISHED: 17/07/2023; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images