Russian withdrawal from grain deal will hurt MENA: Ukraine envoy

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RIYADH: According to Anatolii Petrenko, ambassador of Ukraine to Saudi Arabia, Russia’s withdrawal from the UN-mediated Black Sea Grain Initiative on Saturday “undermines the humanitarian situation in the Middle East and North Africa” and is “politically irresponsible.”

Following what it claimed to be a significant Ukrainian drone attack on its naval fleet in Crimea, Russia withdrew from the agreement.
“It’s important to emphasize that Russia concluded this grain initiative with the UN and Turkiye,” Petrenko said. Its withdrawal “shows its inconsistent and unreliable to its commitments,” as a result.

“176 ships with 2 million tons of grain on board are being blocked by Russia as we speak while they wait to be allowed passage to their final destinations,” he continued.

Arab News attempted to contact the Russian Embassy in Riyadh for comment, but no response was received at the time the report was published.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative sought to disperse crucial Ukrainian exports of fertilizer and food to the rest of the world. Ukraine, according to Petrenko, is dedicated to continuing to serve as a “reliable grain supplier.”

According to Reuters, Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev stated on Saturday that his nation was prepared to replace Ukrainian grain and provide up to 500,000 tons to underdeveloped nations for free over the course of the next four months with assistance from Turkey.

“We have good reason to think that this is an attempt to smuggle grain that has already been stolen from the occupied territories of Ukraine,” Petrenko said.

He urged Russia to “reverse its withdrawal” and “recommit itself” to carrying out the initiative.

Source: Arab News

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