Russia Halts Black Sea Grain Deal Growing Concerns of Global Food Insecurity

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Russia has suspended the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Breitbart reports, which allows commercial food and fertilizer to be exported from three key Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea, until Russia’s demands for exporting their own food and fertilizer to the world are met. The disruption of Ukraine’s export trade comes as Russia complains about having low agricultural exports, despite shipping “record amounts of wheat.” The suspension of the initiative is going to bring more suffering to those importing Ukraine’s grain products including countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where hunger and soaring food prices are of grave concern. 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “When the part of the Black Sea deal related to Russia is implemented, Russia will immediately return to the implementation of the deal.”


The Black Sea Grain Initiative was a deal reached last year thanks to the efforts of the U.N. and Turkey in response to a growing global food crisis after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The deal allowed food to leave the Black Sea and be distributed to other countries to help lower the high prices of wheat, vegetable oil, and other food products. The deal ensured that ships would not be attacked leaving and entering Ukrainian ports amid the war. 

Both Ukraine and Russia are suppliers of staple grain products such as wheat and barley. Despite arguing otherwise, Russia’s wheat shipments have been at an all-time high, according to Breitbart, as they exported 45.5. million metric tons in the 2022-2023 trade year, and another record 47.5 million metric tons are expected in this trade year, according to estimates by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 


The official suspension of the initiative came just after Ukraine raised suspicions over Russia preventing new ships from trading. Also raising suspicion was a considerable slow down of joint inspections on vessels ensuring they were carrying only grain, and not weapons. 

Unfortunately, the suspension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative at the hand of Russia is causing concern that food prices in developing countries, which were already high, are going to soar even higher. In poorer countries that depend on imported food, and with some facing droughts which are forcing them to import more, the halting of a major food source will cause more worry to befall those already suffering with food insecurity. 

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