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Ukraine, grain agreement. Ukraine wants to continue the initiative, the US criticizes Russia and points to the “harmful” consequences of its decisions

Ukraine, grain agreement. Ukraine wants to continue the initiative, the US criticizes Russia and points to the “harmful” consequences of its decisions

We will believe that the partners will manage to calm the rhetoric of the Russian Federation. For our part, we will continue the grain initiative, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, referring to Russia’s withdrawal from the agreement enabling grain exports from Ukraine. US State Department spokesman Ned Price admitted that the US regrets the Kremlin’s “irresponsible decision” that “has an immediate detrimental effect on global food security.”

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky recalled on Monday at a press conference with the prime minister Czech Petrem Fiala that on the grain export agreement with Ukraine there are two parallel documents: one signed by Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations, and the second concluded by Russia, Turkey and the United Nations.

– If Russia says it is withdrawing from the grain initiative, it is saying that it is withdrawing from the last tripartite arrangements. This says that Russia is violating these agreements, he argued. He admitted that the international community had already got used to various rhetoric from the Kremlin. – We will believe that the partners will manage to calm the rhetoric of the Russian Federation. We, for our part, will continue the grain initiative – he said.

Zelenskiy also commented on the morning Russian shells aimed at infrastructure facilities in around 10 regions of Ukraine. – During that day alone, 50 rockets were launched. Russia is escalating every day, he stressed. He called for a firm response from the international community and argued that “Russia has no place in the G20, the UN and other structures established to defend peace.” Russia, he added, uses these structures to cover its own crimes.

USA: Russia’s decision caused immediate damage to food security

“We deeply regret Russia’s irresponsible decision to suspend its participation in the Black Sea grain initiative,” said US State Department spokesman Ned Price at a conference in Washington. The decision “has an immediate detrimental effect on global food security,” he said.

He indicated, inter alia, on the increase in the prices of futures contracts for Ukrainian grain due to the uncertainty whether exports will be able to continue. He also noted that there are currently 97 food vessels registered in Ukraine, including one vessel with grain belonging to the World Food Program, waiting for approval to be transported to Ethiopia.

Russia fired on many regions of Ukraine.  Critical infrastructure facilities have been damaged

Russia fired on many regions of Ukraine. Critical infrastructure facilities have been damagedTVN24, Reuters

Price noted that despite Russian disinformation and manipulations, 66 percent of food from Ukraine goes to developing countries, and almost 20 percent to the poorest countries in the world.

He said that – regardless of Moscow’s justifications – according to the US, there was no justification for the Kremlin’s withdrawal from the agreement negotiated with Turkey and the UN. “Russia is again using food as a weapon in a war it has unleashed itself,” said the spokesman. Price said he had “absolute confidence” in Turkey’s efforts and ability to renew the deal, which has already allowed the export of more than 9.5 million tonnes of grain.

Russia withdrew from the grain deal

Russia withdrew from the agreement signed this summer on the safe export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea. This export was blocked earlier in February as a result of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Arrangements with the United Nations and Turkey, known as the cereals initiative, have allowed these exports to be resumed.

Despite this, Turkey and the United Nations continued their ship inspections on Monday, in line with the agreements, without Russian inspectors. Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoiguthat Moscow should reconsider its decision. In turn, the Russian defense ministry said on Monday that it was suspending the movement of its ships in the “grain corridor”, which was provided for in the agreements with Turkey and the UN.

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / OLEG PETRASYUK

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