Let us break bread
Russia rejoins Ukrainian grain deal
Russia has decided to rejoin the grain deal with Ukraine, allowing grain shipments from Ukrainian ports to safely pass through the Black Sea, The New York Times reports. This comes just a few days after Russia initially suspended the deal for an "undetermined period."
The move eases some of the global food security concerns that had arisen when Russia backed out, NPR reports. Russia's Defense Ministry agreed to the renewal after the U.N. and Turkey received written confirmation from Ukraine that the Black Sea shipping corridors would not be used for military purposes. Russia had originally pulled out due to an attack on one of its naval ships in a Black Sea seaport that it blamed on Ukraine.
The grain deal was created in July to avoid "a food shortage catastrophe for millions worldwide," as a U.N. official explained. Ukraine is one of the largest grain producers in the world, and is even referred to as "Europe's breadbasket." U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that when Russia suspended the arrangement, it was "again weaponizing food in the war it started."
The Kremlin had widely been accused of using food insecurity as a weapon to gain an upper hand in the war, explains Insider. The head of the European Council also accused Russia of burning Ukrainian fields and stealing grain, worsening the food shortage.
The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, "[Russia] can't stand in the way of feeding the entire world."