United States welcomes Turkey-brokered grain deal between Russian and Ukraine

Ned Prince

US State Department Spokesperson Ned Prince (File image)

Photo : AP

Washington: The United States on Thursday lauded a Turkish-brokered deal to allow grain exports from Ukraine‘s besieged Black Sea ports. The deal will be signed by Russia and Ukraine in Instanbul on Friday, i.e. July 22. Washington also urged Moscow to implement the deal.

“We welcome the announcement of this agreement in principle, but what we’re focusing on now is holding Russia accountable for implementing this agreement and for enabling Ukrainian grain to get to world markets,” said US State Department spokesman Ned Price as quoted by AFP.

Slamming Russia for blocking the export of grains from Ukrainian ports, Prince added that it was a deliberate decision on the part of the Russian Federation to weaponise food. The US State Department spokesman also praised United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkey for mediation between Ukraine and Russia over the issue.
Also Read: Russia, Ukraine to sign grain deal proposed by UN on Friday: Turkey

Earlier in the day, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s office announced that Russia and Ukraine would sign a grain deal in Instanbul. The event will be held at the Dolmabahce Palace offices at 1330 GMT. Erdogan and Guterres will also be present during the signing of the deal.

Ukraine is one of the largest exporters of wheat and grains, including barley and maize. Between 20-25 million tonnes of wheat and other grain have been blocked in Ukrainian ports by Russian warships and also by landmines planted by Ukraine to prevent an assault from Moscow troops.

The blockade of grain exports from Ukraine led to an increase in food prices due to which millions across the world are facing hunger. Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.