Russia halts Ukraine's Black Sea grain exports!
Russia has pulled out of a key United Nations grain deal, sparking international outrage and dealing a blow to Moscow's attempts to alleviate a global food crisis triggered by its invasion of Ukraine.
On Saturday, Moscow announced it was suspending its participation in the Black Sea agreement, which seeks to prevent famine and contain inflation, in response to Ukraine's drone attack on its fleet. Russia characterizes its actions in Ukraine as a "special operation" in a conflict that began in February.
The suspension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July will cut shipments through critical Black Sea ports in Ukraine, one of the world's largest grain exporters.
US President Joe Biden called the move "completely outrageous" and said it would increase hunger, while his top diplomat accused Russia of weaponizing food.
"Any action by Russia to disrupt these critical grain exports is essentially a statement that people and families around the world must pay more for food or go hungry," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
Ukraine attacked the Black Sea Fleet near Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia early Saturday with 16 drones and British navy "experts" helped coordinate the "terrorist" attack, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Moscow also accused British navy personnel of blowing up the Nord Stream gas pipelines last month, a claim London said was false and designed to distract attention from Russia's military failures in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the United Nations and the Group of 20 (G20) major economies must respond strongly to what he called Russia's absurd move.
"This is a completely transparent attempt by Russia to return to the threat of large-scale famine for Africa and Asia," Zelenskiy said in a video address, adding that Russia should be expelled from the G20.
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