Russia says it will suspend UN-brokered Ukraine export deal

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Russia Says It Will Suspend Un-Brokered Ukraine Export Deal Russia Says It Will Suspend Un-Brokered Ukraine Export Deal
Russia Ukraine, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Andrew Meldrum, Associated Press

The Russian Defence Ministry says that Moscow has moved to suspend its implementation of a UN-brokered grain export deal which has seen more than nine million tons exported from Ukraine and brought down global food prices.

The ministry cited an alleged Ukrainian drone attack against Russia’s Black Sea Fleet ships moored off the coast of occupied Crimea, which Russia says took place early on Saturday, as the reason for the move.

Ukraine has denied the attack.

The Russian declaration came one day after UN chief Antonio Guterres urged Russia and Ukraine to renew the deal.

Mr Guterres also urged other countries, mainly in the West, to expedite the removal of obstacles blocking Russian grain and fertiliser exports.

The UN chief underlined the urgency of renewing the deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July, which expires on November 19, “to contribute to food security across the world, and to cushion the suffering that this global cost-of-living crisis is inflicting on billions of people”, his spokesman said.

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He added that UN officials were in touch with Russian authorities over the announced suspension.

“It is vital that all parties refrain from any action that would imperil the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which is a critical humanitarian effort that is clearly having a positive impact on access to food for millions of people,” said the spokesman, Stephane Dujarric.

Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said before Moscow discusses a renewal “Russia needs to see the export of its grain and fertilisers in the world market, which has never happened since the beginning of the deal”.

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