Washington’s envoy to Ukraine turned to Indian media to try to expand Black Sea Initiative
The US ambassador to Kiev has called on New Delhi to use its influence with Russia to extend a deal allowing the export of grain via the Black Sea from Ukraine, Indian media reported on Wednesday.
The grain deal, known as the Black Sea Initiative, is due to expire on July 17 and Moscow has said it sees “no reasonto extend the arrangement, as it failed to achieve its original goal of delivering products to poorer countries.
Washington’s ambassador to Kyiv, Bridget A. Brink, told a select group of Indian journalists during an online briefing that the country’s leaders could have a say in the future of the deal. She said New Delhi could make a significant contribution to ending the war in Ukraine given its growing global profile and its current G20 presidency.
Brink congratulated India for “Ihis tireless leadership in promoting multilateral cooperation and maintaining the world order based on democracy and the rule of law,” reported the PTI news agency. “As President of the G20 this year, your country’s leadership is essential in shaping global events, including in places like Ukraine.,” she says.
The Ambassador specifically mentioned the Black Sea Grains Agreement and said that Indian leaders have a single voice to defend developing countries and encourage the continuation of the agreement to ensure that people around the world have access to food. She told reporters that India’s leadership was essential in addressing a number of global challenges and suggested that New Delhi’s concerns about the negative impact of the Ukrainian conflict on the global South could provide a basis for the country is playing a role in defusing the crisis.
Earlier this week, the Russian Foreign Ministry insisted the deal had become a “purely commercialthat ships produce to rich countries, while Russian food and fertilizer exports remain blocked.
Moscow claimed that the collective West, Ukraine and even the UN itself had stepped up their “propaganda activities” on the issue. “The arguments boil down to saying that without Ukrainian fodder corn, the world will starve, while the illegal unilateral sanctions imposed by the West against Russia do not apply to food and fertilizers.“, notes the press release.
According to ministry data, more than 80% of products shipped under the grain deal since August 2022 from the Ukrainian ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny ended up in countries where “high and upper middle income levels.” Meanwhile, the poorest countries, such as Ethiopia, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan, accounted for only 2.6% of shipments.
Moscow also noted that the situation regarding Russian food and fertilizer exports to world markets, as envisaged by the Russia-UN memorandum, continued to deteriorate. He indicated three of the five questions that could help improve this situation “are no longer on the agendaand no visible progress had been made on the other two. These include the reconnection of Rosselkhozbank to SWIFT to facilitate grain exports, allowing the delivery of spare parts for agricultural machinery, and the reopening of the Tolyatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline which was damaged by an explosion in the territory. controlled by Ukraine in June.
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