The US ambassador to the UN assured Ukrainian farmers Tuesday that extending an agreement to facilitate Black Sea shipments of grain and other Ukrainian products is a priority for the organization.
The agreement, which Russia and Ukraine signed separately with the UN and Turkey, is set to expire on November 19. A Russian diplomat on Tuesday mentioned Moscow’s dissatisfaction with its implementation.
Speaking to farmers and journalists at a grain warehouse in kyiv, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said she considered Ukraine “the breadbasket of the world.”
“This war has really had an impact on the global food market that you haven’t been able to export your grains,” she said. Thomas-Greenfield.
Russia briefly suspended its participation in the deal last week, saying Ukraine had launched a drone attack on its flotilla in the Black Sea on October 29. Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for that attack.
Ukraine and Russia are major global exporters of wheat, oats, barley, sunflower oil and other products, and the war has caused shortages and fueled fears of a hunger crisis in poorer countries.
On Tuesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said the Kremlin had not yet decided whether to extend its deal with Russia and the UN.
“We still have time. We are examining how this agreement is being implemented after the restoration of our participation, he said. “We are very dissatisfied with the way the Russian part is being implemented, where the UN has taken responsibility for solving problems.”
Russia and Ukraine signed separate agreements on July 22 for a Black Sea corridor that cleared the way for the export of grain from three Ukrainian ports, as well as shipments of Russian grain and fertilizer. The agreement, which established a system of inspections and monitoring so that cargo ships could travel safely, will expire next week unless it is renewed.
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