UN warns that Russia’s decision to withdraw from the Black Sea Grain Initiative puts millions at risk of starvation

The United Nations has warned that Russia’s decision to withdraw from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allowed for the safe export of food and fertiliser from Ukrainian ports, will lead to soaring food prices and worsening global hunger. UN Secretary-General António Guterres spoke out on Monday after the Kremlin said it would refuse to extend the deal.

Secretary-General António Guterres said: “Ultimately, participation in this agreement is a choice; however, neither people in need everywhere in the world nor developing countries have a choice. Hundreds of millions of people face hunger, and consumers face a global cost of living crisis. They will pay the price.

This comes just a week after Russia vetoed the extension of a UN Security Council resolution guaranteeing a key humanitarian aid delivery route from Turkey to Syria. On Monday, the UN rejected restrictions imposed by the Syrian government to allow the flow of vital humanitarian aid through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing. Syrian officials have imposed conditions on humanitarian aid shipments that have been denounced as “unacceptable” by UN officials. Among the conditions imposed are that the UN must carry out the shipments in “full cooperation and coordination” with the Syrian government.

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