US, Russia Trade Blame Over Ukraine's Grain Export Deal

US, Russia Trade Blame Over Ukraine's Grain Export Deal

Aug. 5, 2023, 8:57 a.m.

The United States has condemned Russia's withdrawal from a deal to allow Ukrainian grain exports from Black Sea ports, calling the move an "assault" on the global food system.

The US hosted an open debate at the UN Security Council on Thursday to discuss conflict-induced food insecurity and famine. The country holds the council's presidency for August.

Washington issued a presidential statement that "strongly condemns the use of starvation as a method of warfare" without mentioning specific countries or regions.

During the debate, many countries criticized Russia for suspending the grain agreement.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced Moscow for bombing Ukrainian granaries, mining port entrances, and threatening to attack any vessel in the Black Sea following the deal suspension.

He said, "We must address Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine and the resulting assault on the global food system."

Russia's first deputy permanent UN representative, Dmitry Polyanskiy, countered that there is sufficient food in the world. He said, "The problem is that it is distributed unevenly."

Polyanskiy noted that the West has excess food while developing countries face food shortages.

He added that what is needed is "deeds" rather than "drafting appealing joint documents."

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