THE decision by Russia to suspend the Black Sea Grain Initiative is being chastised by the United States as it could send food prices skyrocketing around the world.
Ukraine, which is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat and grain, has been locked in intense fighting with Russia since last year, and it has hampered the flow of vital food supply out of that country as its ports are affected in the war.
Since the war started more than 12 months ago, food prices across the world have increased significantly, and the United Nations and partners brokered the deal to have critical grain supply shipped out through the ports.
Now, Russia has refused to extend the agreement.
“The United States deeply regrets Russia’s decision to suspend participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The Russian government’s continued weaponization of food harms millions of vulnerable people around the world,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin said in response to the position taken by Moscow.
According to Blinkin, since August last year, the Black Sea Grain Initiative has shipped over 32 million metric tons of Ukrainian grain and foodstuff to the world, including some of the most food-insecured regions of the globe like the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, Yemen and Afghanistan.