NATO calls on Russia to urgently renew Ukraine grain deal

NATO on Sunday called on Moscow to urgently renew the UN-brokered deal that enabled Ukraine to resume grain exports via the Black Sea amid a global food crisis.

"President Putin must stop weaponising food and end his illegal war on Ukraine," NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said. "We call on Russia to reconsider its decision and renew the deal urgently, enabling food to reach those who need it most."

All NATO allies had welcomed the agreement that came about with the help of Turkey, she noted.

"These exports have helped reduce food prices the world over," Lungescu added.

Read more: Russia halts Ukraine Black Sea grain exports, prompting food crisis concerns

Earlier, the European Union had also called on Russia to reverse its decision to pull out of a UN-brokered grain deal.

Moscow suspended its participation in the Black Sea deal on Saturday, effectively cutting shipments from Ukraine, one of the world's top grain exporters, in response to what it called a major Ukrainian drone attack earlier in the day on its fleet near the port of Sevastopol in Russian-annexed Crimea.

"Russia's decision to suspend participation in the Black Sea deal puts at risk the main export route of much needed grain and fertilisers to address the global food crisis caused by its war against Ukraine," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Twitter.

"The EU urges Russia to (reverse) its decision."

On Saturday, US President Joe Biden called the move "purely outrageous", saying it would increase starvation, while Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Moscow of weaponising food.

On Sunday, Russia's ambassador to Washington, snapped back, saying the US response was "outrageous" and made false assertions about Moscow's move.


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