UN 'concerned' by Russian strikes on Ukrainian grain sites

UN 'concerned' by Russian strikes on Ukrainian grain sites

Strikes make facilitating exports from Russia, Ukraine 'even harder,' says UN spokesperson

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - The UN said Wednesday it is "very concerned" by Russian strikes on Ukrainian grain and foodstuffs facilities that followed Moscow's withdrawal from a landmark deal that facilitated food exports.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has "raised his concerns about the potential rise in global food prices" prompted by Moscow's exit, spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters, adding that the attacks do "nothing to alleviate those concerns."

"Obviously, what he wants most is for a return to the Black Sea Green Initiative and the sort of understandings that we had in place," said Haq.

"And he's doing everything he can to see what can be done to make sure that food and fertilizer exports go out from both Ukraine and the Russian Federation, but acts like this make that sort of activity even harder," he added.

Russia suspended its participation in the UN and Türkiye-brokered Black Sea grain deal on July 17, 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 took effect in July 2022 and marked a milestone in efforts to bolster global food security after food exports from Ukraine's Black Sea ports were halted due to an embargo put in place by Russia in the wake of its war against its eastern European neighbor.

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