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Suspension of Russia’s participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative

The United States deeply regrets Russia’s decision to suspend participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The Russian government’s continued use of food as a weapon is harming millions of vulnerable people around the world.

Since August 2022, the Black Sea Grain Initiative has shipped more than 32 million metric tons of Ukrainian grain and food to the world, including to some of the world’s most food insecure regions such as the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, Yemen and Afghanistan. More broadly, each shipment under the Initiative has helped alleviate deprivation in the world’s poorest countries, as the supply of grain to world markets lowers food prices for everyone.

Despite Russia’s claims, the UN facilitated record Russian food exports by coordinating with the private sector as well as the US, EU and UK to clear up any concerns raised by Russia. As we have repeatedly stated, there are no G7 sanctions on Russian food and fertilizer exports. Unfortunately, Russia does not participate in the World Food Program and its exports are oriented towards higher income countries, not the poorest countries in the world.

The decision is in line with Russia’s veto last week of a UN Security Council resolution reauthorizing cross-border humanitarian aid to the Syrians. Cynical actions hurt the most vulnerable people in the world.

The United States is grateful to the UN and Turkey for their work in expanding the vital Black Sea Grain Initiative and bringing Ukrainian and Russian grain to world markets. We call on the Russian government to reverse its decision, resume negotiations and immediately expand, expand and fully implement the Initiative for the benefit of the millions of people who depend on Ukrainian grain.

Source: Usem Bassy