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Blinken accuses Russia of ‘weaponizing food’ with move to halt Ukraine grain deal

Secretary of State Antony Brinken said on Monday that Russia was “food-weaponizing” Russia after it withdrew from the Black Sea Grains Initiative, which continues to drain food supplies from Ukraine despite the war. condemned.

press conferenceBrinken said the deal, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, was made necessary after Russia invaded Ukraine and blocked its ports.

He said 32 million tonnes of food have now been delivered to various countries under the agreement “at least allowing cereals and other foodstuffs to flow from Ukraine to the world market.”

“In other words, Russia’s actions today to weaponize food, use it as a tool, and use it as a weapon in its war against Ukraine have resulted in poor access to food where it is in dire need, and price hikes. It’s going to go up,” said Blinken. He said. “We are already seeing the market reacting to this as prices are rising.”

“In short, it’s unconscionable. It shouldn’t be. This needs to be restored as soon as possible. And I hope the countries are watching this closely. They understands that Russia has a responsibility to contribute to higher prices at a time when many countries continue to experience extremely difficult inflation, denying food to people in desperate need around the world. will do.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier Monday that Moscow would suspend its participation in the deal unless its demands to supply the world with food and fertilizer were met.

“As soon as the parts of the Black Sea Agreement that relate to Russia are implemented, Russia will immediately return to fulfilling the agreement,” Peskov said.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. You may not publish, broadcast, rewrite or redistribute this material.

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