Be Prepared, Putin Squashes Grain Deal.

Russia’s Refusal to Renew Ukraine Food-Shipping Deal Endangers Millions.

The UN-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative, which has been in place since last year, helped millions worldwide face food shortages, famine, and soaring prices.

But that beacon of hope for many has been extinguished with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent decision not to renew the agreement, which allowed food shipments from Ukraine.

The now-expired deal encompasses over 1,000 voyages and 32.8 million tons of food shipped from three Ukrainian ports without Russian interference.

The ramifications of Putin’s refusal are immense, as it could result in supply chain disruption, food shortages, famine, and higher prices for millions worldwide.

Russia Blames Sanctions for ‘Termination’

Putin’s decision surprised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had been mediating between the two parties. He had been confident that the Russian President would extend the deal.

When asked why the renewal had been called off, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated that the UN had not lived up to its part of the agreement and that sanctions against Russia had affected the country’s ability to export food and fertilizer.

Putin’s decision has come when global hunger and food prices are already rising.

Food shortages have become especially pronounced in Africa, the Middle East, and other regions.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative was one of the few legal channels by which food products can exit Ukraine without risking Russian aggression.

With its expiration, grain, corn, wheat, barley, and other food items could not leave Ukraine. This, in turn, could lead to higher food prices worldwide, in the US and elsewhere.

Ukraine Vows to Continue Food Shipments

In response to the agreement’s termination, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared that Russia’s decision would not cow the country and would continue to ship grain and other food products from the three designated ports.

He noted that shippers in the country have vowed to keep sending food despite the possibility of the threatened “temporarily dangerous” northwest Black Sea area, which could involve mine placement in the shipping routes or a military strike on a port.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby echoed this sentiment when he said, “Russia’s decision will harm millions of vulnerable people around the world.”

The UN and other world bodies have vowed to keep fighting for the safe passage of food from Ukraine, and Guterres made a passionate plea, ”There is too much at stake in a hungry and hurting world.”

Russia has dealt a devastating blow to the global food supply, and it remains to be seen if Ukraine can continue shipping food out of the country without Putin’s interference.

For now, the world can only wait and hope that Ukraine’s efforts don’t result in another crisis.

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