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EU urges Russia to reverse its decision to suspend grain deal

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Nov 01, 2022 - 02:55 AM

ISTANBUL (AA) – The European Union on Monday condemned Russia’s suspension of the Black Sea grain deal and urged it to reverse its decision.

“Russia’s unjustified decision to suspend its participation in the UN Black Sea Grain Initiative obstructs the export of much needed grain to address the global food crisis,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

The statement said the landmark accord made a “significant difference” by bringing over 9 million tons of grain and foodstuffs to global markets and countries in need.

“Russia’s deliberate actions, including destroying stocks, disrupting production, and imposing quota restrictions on its own exports of foodstuffs and fertilizers have exacerbated the global food security crisis,” it said, accusing Moscow of “weaponizing food and hunger.”

“The European Union condemns Russia’s suspension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and urges Russia to reverse its decision and to immediately resume” its implementation, the statement said.

“The EU strongly supports the United Nations Secretary-General’s call for the extension of the initiative beyond its current period ending in November,” it added.

Türkiye, the UN and Ukraine agreed Sunday on a movement plan for 16 vessels that are in Turkish waters.

The Istanbul-based Joint Coordination Centre (JCC), which oversees shipments under the deal, said the three delegations representing the maritime elements of Russia, Türkiye and Ukraine also agreed for inspections to be conducted on 40 outbound vessels on Monday.

The JCC added that the Russian side was informed of the development.

On Saturday, Russia announced that it had suspended its participation in the deal to export Ukrainian grain following attacks on its Black Sea Fleet.

Türkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement on July 22 in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February.

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