Ukraine Protests Russia’s Withdrawal From Grain Deal

Ukrainian leaders doubled down on threats to target all shipping originating in Russia after the Kremlin terminated the grain deal made between the nations after Ukraine continued offensive actions against their adversaries.

The “world’s breadbasket” believes its food exports are necessities and said all Russian shipping may be considered “as such carrying military cargo with all the associated risks.”

This statement mirrored comments by the Kremlin on Wednesday warning that Ukrainian shipments are in peril. The collapse of the grain deal only turned up the heated rhetoric between the warring nations as the world continues to take sides.

Russian President Vladimir Putin explained early Monday on the Kremlin’s website that the grain deal “did not justify its humanitarian purpose.” He said the agreement “has lost its meaning.

The deal, which began a year ago, allowed Ukraine to export grain from its seaports to destinations around the globe in spite of the war being waged.

Russian authorities believe that the aspects of the deal that concern Moscow have not been followed. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov asserted that “as soon as the Russian part [of the agreement] is fulfilled, the Russians will immediately return to the implementation of this deal.”

The Kremlin repeatedly warned that it would exit the deal if its interests were not addressed.

Russian requests for the easing of sanctions on both its logistical and financial sectors have been ignored by the international community. This in turn blocked its efforts to ramp up grain and fertilizer exports.

Moscow revealed the nation expects a record harvest for 2023, according to Putin. “I want to assure you that our country is able to replace Ukrainian grain both commercially and free of charge,” he declared last week.

The country has a summit with African leaders coming this week, and Russia is just one of many nations positioning themselves for influence on the continent.

Its inroads were seen in March 2022 when the U.N. held a vote to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Voting in favor of the resolution were 28 African nations, but 25 chose to abstain or did not vote.

The announcement of the termination of the grain deal was followed by a barrage of strikes in the Black Sea port of Odessa by both sides.