Reactions and explanations began to come one after another regarding the decision to terminate the grain deal.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Union (EU) Commission, said, “I strongly condemn Russia’s move to end the Black Sea Grain Initiative, despite the efforts of the United Nations and Turkey.”
Von der Leyen noted that the EU is working to ensure food security for those in distress in the world, and that food products will continue to be transported from Ukraine through the land connections established by the EU before.
Call from Germany and Austria
In a statement in Berlin, Deputy Government Spokesperson Christiane Hoffmann stated that they want Russia to extend the grain corridor agreement and not to run the current conflict at the expense of poor people.
Hoffmann stressed that such agreements should not be limited to the short term and that Ukraine should be allowed to export grain in the long term.
German Minister of Food and Agriculture Cem Özdemir said, “The use of hunger as a weapon must be stopped. For the terrible warmongering of (Russian President) Vladimir Putin, the poorest of the poor in this world are being taken hostage.”
The Farmers’ Union also announced that they did not see any bottlenecks in the German and European markets for the time being after the agreement was stopped.
Speaking to German media, Union official Udo Hemmerling said: “If there is a long cut in grains, oilseeds and fertilizers, there may still be supply bottlenecks and price increases in global agribusiness, but in Central Europe we do not expect any bottlenecks as there is local harvest available.”
On the other hand, the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared on Twitter about the Black Sea Grain Corridor Agreement with the hashtag “food is not a weapon”.
“We call on Russia to urgently accept the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. This is very important for global food security. It also provides millions of tons of grain and seeds to those in need,” the post said.
USA: Stopping the deal is cruel
US Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Linda Thomas-Greenfield also made a statement on the subject and described Russia’s suspension of the Black Sea Grain Corridor Agreement as “cruel”.
Pointing out that more than 345 million people are struggling with food insecurity according to the World Food Program, Thomas-Greenfield said that Russia’s Ukraine war pushed millions of additional people to the starvation line, especially in the Middle East and Africa.
Thomas-Greenfield stated that by suspending the agreement, Russia dealt another blow to the “victims” in the world and said, “This is cruelty.”
Stating that the grain agreement, led by the UN and Turkey, constitutes a “beacon of hope” and brings stability to the global food market, Thomas-Greenfield said, “Russia has thrown away all this progress. While Russia plays political games, people will suffer.”
Noting that only one country has taken “humanity hostage”, the US representative underlined that all member states should call on Russia to change its decision and return to the negotiating table to extend, expand and implement the agreement.
Statement from Russia
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitriy Peskov made a statement regarding the Black Sea Grain Corridor Agreement, which was extended until July 17, and said, “The grain corridor agreement has actually come to an end, it has been stopped. Russia will immediately return to the grain agreement as soon as the relevant conditions are applied. The part of the agreement regarding Russia has not been fulfilled. He used the phrase “.
In order to reduce the impact of Russia’s attack on Ukraine on global food prices, the United Nations (UN), Russia, Turkey and Ukraine signed the Black Sea Grain Corridor Agreement with a ceremony held in Istanbul on July 22, 2022.