News   /   Russia   /   More

UN worried over tensions ensuing Black Sea grain deal expiration

Rosemary DiCarlo, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, addresses the Security Council meeting on maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine, July 21, 2023.

A senior UN official has expressed worry over the expiration of the Black Sea grain deal, saying this combined with Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s port regions could jeopardize global food security.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo made the remarks on Friday in a briefing to the Security Council.

“Russia’s termination of its participation in the Black Sea Initiative, coupled with its bombardment of crucial ports, will further compound the crisis.”

DiCarlo said food prices have been rising around the globe since the collapse of the deal, thus adding to the agricultural, energy and financial crises already affecting the world’s most vulnerable people.

Tensions around Ukraine's Black Sea ports have escalated after the expiration of the deal securing safe passage of Ukrainian grain shipments.

Moscow refused to extend the deal, arguing that parts of the agreement concerning Russia’s exports were not fulfilled. Russia said it will not extend the deal as long as obstacles to Russian food and fertilizer exports under the accord remain in place. 

On Thursday, Russia said it carried out retaliatory strikes on two Black Sea port regions in response to a Ukrainian attack on a bridge linking Crimea to Russia.

The same day the US claimed Russia’s attacks on port regions might expand to attacks on civilian shipping in the Black Sea.

Moscow has rejected any intention to attack ships, calling the US assertion “pure falsification.”

Moscow said the assertion is an attempt to disguise Washington’s own destructive activities, aimed at the de facto sabotage of the implementation of the grain deal.

UN engagement continues

DiCarlo underlined the UN’s commitment towards ensuring that food and fertilizers from both Ukraine and Russia can continue to reach global markets.

DiCarlo’s message was echoed in the Security Council meeting by UN Humanitarian Coordinator Martin Griffiths, who said Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Initiative was “immensely disappointing” while the port strikes were alarming. “Farmers, as we can imagine, look on this nightly assault with great anxiety as they harvest now the crops nurtured in the shadow of war,” he told the Council.

On Wednesday, wheat and corn futures rose by nearly nine and eight percent, respectively.

More than 30 million tons of grain and agricultural products have been exported under the initiative to date.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku