Russia Suspends Participation in Grain Deal
Following the attempted drone attacks on ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet (cf. above), Russia suspended its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative agreed upon last July, involving the export of agricultural products from Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that it was no longer able to guarantee the safety of civilian dry cargo ships carrying the goods, since the drones were launched from near Odessa, and then traveled through the grain corridor, taking advantage of its special status, to reach their targets. The drones, which were launched by “Ukrainian armed forces led by British specialists”, carried Canadian-made navigation modules, according to the statement.
Given this disruption of grain supplies from Ukraine, Russia’s Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev announced on Oct. 29 that Moscow is prepared to supply up to 500,000 metric tons of grain to the poorest countries, free of charge, over the next four months. Shipment could be ensured with the participation of Turkey, he said.
While there has been plenty of criticism of Russia’s decision to no longer participate in the grain initiative, next to no commentators report that the Western sanctions have done far more damage to the global food trade than that…