Ukraine urges restoration of Black Sea grain initiative | Inquirer Business

Ukraine urges restoration of Black Sea grain initiative

/ 10:44 AM July 21, 2023

ISLAMABAD -Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday called for the Black Sea grain initiative to be restored to meet the challenge of global food insecurity.

Kuleba, who is on the first ministerial visit to Islamabad from Kyiv since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1993, said Russia had undermined world food security.

His Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari endorsed his comments, saying he planned to take the issue up with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.


“It is not only in our interest but in the world’s interest that this grain initiative is restored,” Zardari said.


Kuleba’s two-day visit comes at a time of warming ties between Islamabad and Moscow, with Pakistan beginning oil imports from Russia earlier this year.

Both the envoys said they discussed economic cooperation, with a focus on specific arrangements regarding food security.

The Black Sea grain deal expired on Monday after Russia quit, despite a U.N. offer to President Vladimir Putin to re-establish access for a Russian bank to the SWIFT international payment system in return for an extension.

“We had to find the way to export our grain to the global market,” said Kuleba, adding, “land corridors cannot export the full amount of cereals available for export, this is the issue, which means prices will go up because of shortages of delivery.”

Kuleba said the sea was the best route to get grains and staples to the world market, which has seen a spike in commodity prices since Russia’s invasion last year.

The U.N. estimates the grain deal lowered food prices globally by 20%.


Within days of withdrawing from the deal, Russia attacked the southern Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk, which the minister said had destroyed 60,000 tons of wheat destined for China and grain export infrastructure.

“This is why it is so important to make everything possible to restore the Black Sea grain initiative – to return balance to the global food market, to return prices under control, to give Ukraine the possibility to provide grains to the countries that need it the most,” Kuleba said.

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Russia has warned that ships sailing to the Ukrainian Black Sea ports from Thursday will be seen as potential military targets.

TAGS: Black Sea, deal, grain, restoration, Ukraine

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