US State Department Accused Russia of Preventing Black Sea Grain Initiative

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

The US State Department has stated that Russia is impeding the work of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the deadline for which was extended on May 17.

"Russia continues to obstruct the normal operations of this lifesaving initiative. Really since the – almost since the ink was first dry on the first Black Sea Grain Initiative agreement, Russia began to complain about the agreement publicly, began to obstruct it – to obstruct it," Matthew Miller, the Spokesperson for the US Department of State, stated during a briefing.

According to the State Department representative, Russia is refusing to allow ships to one of those three. It is a clear violation of their commitments under the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

"Their obstruction of this initiative – their continued obstruction of this initiative and threats to withdraw threaten to push up global food prices, threaten to reduce food accessibility for vulnerable populations around the world, and we once again call on Russia to stop holding global food supplies hostage," Miller emphasised.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative for two months.

According to the Ukrainian side, Russia continues to block the entry of ships to the port of Pivdenny, one of the three ports by the "grain agreement," since April 29. Vessels heading to the port are denied inspection and registration without any explanation.

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