The head of the United States Agency for International Development urged Russia to continue its participation in the United Nations-brokered Black Sea grain deal, writing that “the world cannot afford for Putin to continue to use food as a weapon of war.”
“Russia’s comments about suspending its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative are regrettable. This life-saving agreement between Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey, brokered in July by the United Nations, has allowed the export of more than nine million metric tons of grain and other food products to populations around the world in the midst of a devastating global food crisis,” USAID Administrator Samantha Power wrote in a statement Sunday.
She touted the “tremendous success” of the deal so far, crediting it with lowering global food prices and providing relief to those “most vulnerable to severe hunger.”
“The United States and our allies and partners remain clear: the Black Sea Grain Initiative must continue and be extended. Any attempt to undermine the agreement is an attack on hungry families around the world whose lives and livelihoods are dependent on this initiative,” Power wrote.
Remember: Moscow announced it was leaving the grain deal after blaming Ukraine for a drone attack on Crimea Saturday. Kyiv has accused Russia of inventing “fictitious terrorist attacks” and using the deal as “blackmail.”