US urges Russia to resume grain deal

Washington (BLAZETRENDS)

“We are already seeing the market react and that prices are rising. This is inconceivable. The agreement must be restored as quickly as possible,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a press conference.

The head of US diplomacy remarked that some 32 million tons of food have been able to leave Ukraine during the time the grain agreement has been in force.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department in Washington, DC, USA. BLAZETRENDS/EPA/SHAWN THEW

Blinken accused Russia of using starvation as a weapon, and was convinced that all countries would realize that “Russia is responsible for depriving people around the world of food.”

“This affects far beyond Ukraine and Russia. It affects countries around the world and millions of people who depend on this grain, so we certainly urge Russia to recommit in good faith and allow ships carrying the grain to pass freely,” he said in another round. deputy Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh.

Under the mediation of the UN and Turkey, Russia and Ukraine agreed to a series of measures a year ago to ensure that ships loaded with Ukrainian grain can enter the international market from Black Sea outposts.

The aim was to prevent a global food crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine, as both Ukraine and Russia are among the world’s largest grain exporters.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department in Washington, DC, USA. BLAZETRENDS/EPA/SHAWN THEW

Russia declared at the beginning of this month that it saw no reason to extend the agreement and decided to suspend it on the grounds that the sanctions it suffers due to its aggression against Ukraine prevent compliance with the part of the pact that must also guarantee food exports and Russian fertilizers.

This Tuesday there will be a virtual meeting of the Contact Group for the Defense of Ukraine, but according to Singh that meeting will be focused on the Ukrainian counteroffensive and Kiev’s needs on the battlefield.

The suspension of the agreement occurs the same day that an explosion was recorded at dawn on the Crimean bridge that resulted in two deaths and forced to stop automobile traffic on that infrastructure, which links the annexed peninsula with Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed Ukraine for what happened and stated that his country will respond without fail to this “terrorist attack”.

The Pentagon representative said she could not provide details about who was responsible. “I cannot verify one way or the other the allegations. Crimea is part of Ukraine. We let the Ukrainians talk about their operations,” Singh concluded.

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Ukraine says Crimean bridge a legitimate military target

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba argues that the Kerch bridge, which links the occupied Crimean peninsula with Russia and which today suffered another attack that Moscow attributes to Kiev, is a legitimate military target.

“Not every bridge is (an infrastructure) civil by definition. This particular bridge, first, was built illegally, it exists outside the law, and we need to remember that. And second, it is used mainly for military purposes and we should consider it as such,” Kuleba said when asked by journalists at the UN headquarters.

As he stressed, “the bridge is mainly used to supply the Russian Army in occupied Crimea and southern Ukraine with ammunition, fuel and other military equipment necessary for the Russian Army to continue its war of aggression.”

The Ukrainian minister, meanwhile, avoided confirming whether his country was responsible for the attack on Monday, arguing that being on a trip to New York does not have access to classified information.

This morning is the second attack against the Crimean bridge, inaugurated in May 2018 and which is made up of a dual structure, automobile and rail.

In October of last year, a truck loaded with explosives exploded on the bridge, considered the longest in Europe with its 19 kilometers, an attack in which 5 people died.

On this occasion, the attack resulted in two deaths and the Ukrainian Security Service indirectly claimed responsibility for it by stating that it will give “all the details about the organization” of the attack after the country’s “victory” over Russia, and by readapt a poem referring to the bridge as he did last October after the first attack.

The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, affirmed for his part that Moscow will respond without fail to the “terrorist attack of the Kiev regime” and announced that the Ministry of Defense is now preparing the “corresponding proposals”.

According to the Russian president, it is a “senseless crime” from a military point of view, since the Crimean bridge “has not been used for a long time” for the transport of troops and material.

“And it is cruel because innocent civilians were affected and died,” Putin added, referring to a Belgorod couple who lost their lives in the attack, which also injured their 14-year-old daughter.

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