NATO chief, Ukrainian leader discuss war, Black Sea grain deal

NATO chief, Ukrainian leader discuss war, Black Sea grain deal

Stoltenberg, Zelenskyy point out grain deal's importance for global food security

By Burak Bir

LONDON (AA) — NATO's top official and Ukraine's president held a phone call Saturday to discuss Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea grain deal and Kyiv's integration with the alliance.

During the conversation, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said they "condemn Moscow's attempt to weaponise food," the NATO chief said on Twitter.

"Allies stand with #Ukraine for as long as it takes & following #NATOSummit, Ukraine is closer to #NATO than ever before," added Stoltenberg.

Zelenskyy noted that they exchanged views on the current situation related to Black Sea grain deal and the risks it posed for global food security.

"We also identified with Mr. Stoltenberg the priority and future steps necessary for unblocking and sustainable operation of the Black Sea grain corridor," Zelenskyy said in a separate tweet.

He added that they also discussed the implementation of the agreements reached during the NATO Vilnius Summit earlier this month and "further actions" on integration of Ukraine into NATO.

Earlier this week, Russia pulled out of the Black Sea grain deal, saying the Russian part of the agreement was not implemented.

The agreement, initially signed in July of last year in Istanbul by Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine, was aimed at resuming grain exports from Ukrainian ports which had been halted as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war which began in February 2022.​​​​​​​

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