Ukraine staunch reply to Russia’s grain deal termination: ‘Black Sea is not Kremlin’s internal waters’

Russia freezes wartime agreement allowing grain to be sent to Ukraine
Image source: AP Russia freezes wartime agreement allowing grain to be sent to Ukraine

As Russia blocked the movement of Ukrainian grain ships, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office reacted sharply to the development, calling it a “violation of international norms” and arguing that “the Black Sea is not Russia’s internal water”. and is not subject to its jurisdiction”.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the head of the presidential office, stressed that grain cannot be a legitimate military target and said that Ukraine has agency in dealing with external partners. In addition, he emphasized that many countries need Ukrainian grain in the literal sense of the word.

Russia stopped grain exports

Earlier today, Russia announced the suspension of a “key” grain deal that allows the movement of agricultural goods from Ukraine to the rest of the world. Monday’s significant development will pose a threat to African countries that are already facing unprecedented shortages of grain and other agricultural products, especially wheat.

“The Black Sea Agreements are no longer in effect. The deadline, as the Russian President said earlier, is July 17. Unfortunately, that part of the Black Sea Agreement that concerns Russia has not yet been completed. As a result, it Has been terminated,” Russian state media TASS quoted presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

However, Ukraine rejected the “ultimatum” and claimed, “it will not allow Russia’s aggression in the Black Sea”. “Obstructing the movement of ships is unacceptable under international law, a period of public humiliation and pleading for the aggressor and violator to show some leniency continues,” he added.

Suspension of grain deal not because of explosion: Kremlin

Although there was speculation that the latest Kremlin blast was in line with the Crimean Bridge blast, Peskov clarified that Moscow had informed Kiev about it beforehand. A Kremlin spokesman insisted that today’s decision was “unrelated” to the overnight attack on the bridge, which he called a “terrorist act” and blamed on Ukraine.

In fact, he warned that Moscow would continue the suspension until its demands to receive its own agricultural shipments around the world were positively met.

In contradiction, shows Ship Data, which tracks the movement of ocean-going vessels, Moscow is shipping record amounts of wheat and its fertilisers.

Wheat prices rose sharply

According to several media reports, within minutes of the development making headlines across the globe, wheat prices jumped by a whopping 3.5 per cent. Before the war, Russia and Ukraine accounted for 25% of the global grain supply.

What is Russia-Ukraine grain deal?

It is noteworthy that Russia and Ukraine are major wheat exports around the world, especially to African countries. It exports shipments through the Black Sea. However, after constant warfare, Moscow blocked the route, resulting in rising prices for wheat, grain, and other agricultural products.

This also showed the worst effect on African countries. In fact, many countries were on the verge of starvation. In April 2022, the Secretary-General met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to propose the plan.

Subsequently, on July 27 last year, the United Nations and Turkey signed an agreement in Istanbul, dubbed the “grain deal”.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at a July 27 signing ceremony in Istanbul that the resumption of Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea amid the ongoing war was a “ray of hope” for a world that desperately needed it.

United Nations response

Guterres also took to Twitter and expressed regret over Russia’s crackdown against agricultural exports. However, he vowed to renegotiate the deal and allow the movement of ships through the Black Sea.

“Today’s decision to end Russia’s implementation of the Black Sea Initiative will be a blow to those in need everywhere. But it will not stop our efforts to advance global food security and price stability. Much at stake for hungry people But it’s on.” harming the world,” he wrote.

Read also: Russia freezes Ukraine grain deal after Crimea bridge blast. Wheat prices jump sharply

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