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Kyiv/NEW YORK: The UN secretary-general said he was “deeply concerned” by Russia’s decision. Suspend participation in UN-brokered grain agreements It also delayed foreign visits to try to revive agreements aimed at alleviating the global food crisis.

Moscow Ceases role in Black Sea Agreement On Saturday, it effectively cut shipments from Ukraine, one of the world’s top grain exporters.Said it was responding to what it called Massive Ukrainian Drone Attack Earlier in the day in the fleet near the port of Sevastopol in Crimea annexed by Russia.

UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said UN Secretary-General António Guterres was in “intense contact with a view to ending Russia’s suspension”. Guterres said he delayed his departure for the Arab League summit in Algiers by a day to focus on the issue, his statement added.

NATO said Ukraine’s grain exports have helped lower food prices around the world. “We urge Russia to reconsider its decision, urgently renew the agreement and get food to those who need it most,” said spokeswoman Oana Lungescu.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure said 218 ships were “de facto blocked” by the decision. Wheat prices on international commodity markets were expected to surge on Monday as a result, analysts said.

The European Union has also urged Moscow to change course.

EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell tweeted: “Russia’s decision to suspend its participation in the Black Sea Agreement is sorely needed to address the global food crisis caused by the war with Ukraine. It jeopardizes major export routes for grains and fertilizers.

Turkey negotiated the July 22 grain agreement with the United Nations. The defense ministry said Hulusi Akar was in talks with its Russian and Ukrainian counterparts to resume the deal and asked the parties to avoid any “provocations”.

On Saturday, US President Joe Biden called Russia’s move “purely outrageous” and said it would increase hunger, while Secretary of State Anthony Brinken accused Russia of weaponizing food. On Sunday, the Russian ambassador to Washington was quick to hit back, saying the US response was “outrageous” and made false claims about Moscow’s move.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said Ukraine had attacked the Black Sea Fleet near Sevastopol with 16 drones and that “experts” from the Royal Navy helped coordinate what it called a terrorist attack. Britain denied the allegations. UN secretary-general delays trip to try to bring Russia back to Black Sea grain deal

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