EU appeals to Russia to resume grain deal

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The EU's chief diplomat Josep Borrell appealed to Russia on July 17 to resume its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

"The European Union condemns unequivocally Russia's decision to terminate the Black Sea Grain Initiative. With its decision, Russia is further exacerbating the global food security crisis it created by its war of aggression against Ukraine and its blockade of Ukrainian seaports," Borrell said in his statement.

"Russia must cease illegally blocking Ukrainian seaports and allow freedom of navigation on the Black Sea."

The EU's top diplomat noted that the initiative was crucial in stabilizing food prices worldwide, exacerbated by Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

The grain deal helped to bring food prices down by 23% from their peak in March 2022 and allowed the export of nearly 33 million tonnes of grain and foodstuffs to 45 countries, Borrell specified.

The EU official denounced Russia for "weaponizing food" and for solely causing disruptions of grain deliveries and food price inflation worldwide.

"The EU will spare no efforts to continue to support the timely and stable delivery of all goods, especially agricultural products to global markets through EU-Ukraine 'Solidarity Lanes.' The EU will continue to work with affected partner countries in its comprehensive Team Europe response to address global food insecurity," Borrell said.

The grain initiative was brokered by Turkey and the U.N. in July 2022 and has been extended several times. Russia said its conditions for another prolongation have not been met and effectively terminated the deal after its expiration date on July 17.

Ukraine and the U.S. denounced Russia for weaponizing hunger and causing a worldwide rise in food prices. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said that Russia's move "will strike a blow to people in need everywhere."

Following Moscow's announcement that it was terminating the deal, Bloomberg reported that the price of wheat rose by 3% to $6.8 per bushel.