Egypt Criticizes Russia for Ending Ukraine Grain-Export Deal

(Bloomberg) -- Egypt criticized Russia’s exit from the Black Sea grain-export initiative and said it will continue to import Ukrainian wheat even after the collapse of the United Nations-backed agreement this week.

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“We are not pleased with the Russian withdrawal from the UN grain-export deal,” Egyptian Supply Minister Ali El-Mosilhy told Bloomberg. He urged Moscow to reconsider its position.

Egypt’s economy has been slammed by an increase in grain prices since Russia invaded Ukraine last year. While global benchmark wheat futures had begun to moderate, they’ve surged this week after Russia terminated the export pact. Moscow has threatened that any vessels moving in Ukrainian waters would be considered war ships.

Read more: What End of Ukraine Grain Export Deal Means for World: QuickTake

Egypt, one of the world’s biggest wheat importers, plans to continue receiving Ukrainian wheat via Europe, El-Mosilhy said. The government is also in talks with the United Arab Emirates for $400 million in financing to help it purchase the commodity.

The funding would come from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, via tranches of $100 million, according to the minister, who didn’t say when a deal is likely to be finalized. It would be a boost for the African nation, which is facing a dire shortage of foreign exchange and a cost-of-living crisis, partly as a result of soaring food prices related to the war in Ukraine.

Earlier this month, Egypt announced that Abu Dhabi wealth fund ADQ would invest $800 million in companies in its economy. Qatar has also looked bolster the nation’s economy.

--With assistance from Paul Wallace.

(Updates throughout.)

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