by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Ukraine on Monday managed to ship a wartime record amount of grain to feed people facing famine around the world, despite Russia’s decision to suspend its participation in the Turkey-UN brokered Black Sea grain export deal it agreed to in July, Sky News reports.
Russia announced it was suspending its participation in the deal as a means of retaliation for an aerial and underwater drone attack on Russia’s Sevastopol-based Black Sea fleet on the Crimea Peninsula.
Despite Russia’s warning that it would be “risky, dangerous and unguaranteed” for Ukraine to ship the grain without Russian consent, twelve ships set sail from Ukraine carrying 354,500 tonnes of agricultural products.
The grain shipment was the largest to have left Ukraine since the start of the war: one of the 12 ships left for Ethiopia carrying 40,000 tonnes of grain to millions of people affected by severe drought in the country.
The critical shipment was thrown into doubt after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of sending drones through an internationally agreed zone that was intended to ensure the safe export of grain from Ukrainian ports.
Responding to Russia’s announced suspension, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a statement that Putin was “blackmailing the world with hunger,” Sky News reports.
Both Turkey and European Union also called on Russia to reconsider, with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell saying in a statement: “Russia’s decision to suspend participation in the Black Sea deal puts at risk the main export route of much-needed grain and fertilizers to address the global food crisis caused by its war against Ukraine.”
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