EU must convince Russia to resume participation in grain deal, says Borrell

EU must convince Russia to resume participation in grain deal, says Borrell

Russia must stop to using food as a weapon, says EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell

By Nur Asena Erturk

ANKARA (AA) – The European Union must convince Russia to resume its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a tweet on Friday.

"Russia must stop to use food as a weapon," Borrell added, sharing a link to his guest op-ed published in British daily The Guardian on Thursday.

Borrell criticized Russia for its decision to pull out from the grain deal and for trying to deflect blame by claiming "that its own agricultural exports were not sufficiently facilitated."

"Contrary to the lies spread by Russia, the EU has indeed ensured that our sanctions have no impact on global food security," Borrell added.

He also said that after its withdrawal last month, Russia’s military started to target Ukraine's grain storage facilities, which pushed prices up.

"The increased food price volatility is likely to persist as long as Russia puts global food supply under deliberate stress, aggravating the global cost of living crisis – most acutely for food-insecure people in import-dependent countries," Borrell explained.

He gave assurances that the EU will continue supporting efforts by Türkiye and the UN efforts to resume the initiative.

The union will also strengthen its "solidarity lanes as alternative routes for Ukrainian agricultural exports to reach global markets through the EU," and increase its financial support to countries in need.

On July 17, Russia suspended its participation in the Black Sea grain deal, saying the Russian part of the agreement was not implemented. It sought the loosening of banking restrictions and the ability to ship its fertilizer before returning to the agreement.

The agreement, signed in July 2022 in Istanbul by Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine, was aimed at resuming grain exports from Ukrainian ports halted due to the Russia-Ukraine war, which began in February 2022.

Türkiye has said that Western countries should try to address Russia's complaints and that it hopes Russia returns to the deal.

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