The Black Sea Grain Initiative, also known as the “grain deal” – has been terminated. This is a direct result of Russia’s unilateral withdrawal from it, as other participants – Turkey and the UN – were in favour of prolonging the agreement. In addition, the Russian Federation has disavowed its security guarantees for the route used to export grain from Ukrainian seaports, which can be interpreted as their intention to attack merchant ships that will be in this sector of the Black Sea from 18 July 2023, Dispatches, IFBG.
Russia has tried to press ahead with the fulfilment of the terms of the grain agreement before. It has constantly violated the stable algorithm of registration and inspection of ships entering and leaving Ukrainian ports. In its turn, Moscow uses its Black Sea ports unhindered, and Russian ships do not undergo any inspections in the Bosporus. Thus, Russia can quietly use these circumstances to receive military cargoes and continue its war against Ukraine.
Putin does not plan to stop, he is ready to go even further, using world hunger as a weapon, blackmailing African countries with the termination of the grain deal on the eve of the Russia-Africa summit to be held in St. Petersburg from 27 to 28 July this year. Using this platform Russia plans to enlist the support of African countries in the war against Ukraine in exchange for guarantees of food security. The civilised world should understand that Russia is doing everything to ensure that African countries are left without essential staple food supplies at affordable prices.
The bombing of the Crimean bridge on 17 July was beneficial to Putin as an excuse to break the grain deal. And on the nights of 18 and 19 July, Russian drones and missiles attacked the infrastructure of the port of Odessa. All this means that the Kremlin is trying to completely destroy Ukraine’s food export capacity and create an artificial famine in the world’s poor countries in order to create another large-scale migration wave of refugees to Europe. With its actions, Russia deserves only increased sanctions and further global isolation.
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