The world must react strongly to the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the “grain agreement” because millions of people will find themselves in conditions of artificial famine, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said in his address.

“A strong international response is needed now. Both at the UN level and at other levels. In particular, at the level of the G20. How can Russia be among the G20 if it is deliberately working for starvation on several continents? This is nonsense. Russia has no place in the G20. All partners see this artificial queue of vessels. They see what Russia did to disrupt the grain initiative. They see that even ships with grain, which are contracted within the framework of the UN Food Programme for the poorest countries, do not get a guaranteed opportunity to pass through the sea route,” the Head of State said.

According to him, Russia is doing everything to ensure that millions of Africans and millions of residents of the Middle East and South Asia find themselves in conditions of artificial famine or at least a severe price crisis.

“But why can a handful of people somewhere in the Kremlin decide whether people in Egypt or Bangladesh will have food on their tables? What is it? The world has the power to protect people against this,” Zelensky is convinced.

He called the Russian Federation’s statement about the disruption of the grain export initiative “quite predictable.”

“In fact, this is not their decision today. Russia began deliberately aggravating the food crisis back in September when it blocked the movement of ships with our food. From September to today, 176 vessels have already accumulated in the grain corridor, which cannot follow their route. Some grain carriers have been waiting for more than three weeks. This is an absolutely deliberate blockade by Russia,” the President emphasised.

He also reminded us that Russia had attacked Ukraine’s Naval Forces at least twice during the grain initiative, precisely by those forces that guaranteed the safety of the grain corridor.

U.S. President Joe Biden has already reacted to Russia’s withdrawal from the “grain agreement,” condemning this Russian statement, calling it “purely outrageous.” The American leader said that such a move by the Russian Federation would increase starvation and that the Russians had “no reason to do so.”

The European Union called on Russia to revert its decision, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell wrote on Twitter.

“Russia’s decision to suspend participation in the Black Sea deal puts at risk the main export route of much-needed grain and fertilisers to address the global food crisis caused by its war against Ukraine,” he said.

The Russian Federation announced that it was suspending its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative, supposedly because of the “terrorist attack” in Sevastopol Bay on the morning of Saturday, 29 October.

The UN said they were in contact with the Russian authorities after reports that Moscow had stopped participating in the grain export initiative.

Bohdan Marusyak

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