France says Russia endangering world food security

AFP , Tuesday 1 Nov 2022

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday accused Russia of endangering world food supplies by suspending its participation in a landmark Ukraine grain deal.

Macron and Zelenskyy
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.


Moscow on Saturday halted its participation in the agreement that allowed vital grain exports from Ukraine, blaming drone attacks on Russian ships in the Crimea.

In a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Macron "denounced a unilateral decision by Russia which again harms global food security", the president's office said.

Russia made the announcement after its army accused Kyiv of a "massive" drone attack on its Black Sea fleet, which Ukraine labelled a "false pretext" and the UN urged the deal's preservation.

US President Joe Biden called the move "purely outrageous" while Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Moscow was "weaponising food".

The July deal to unlock grain exports signed between Russia and Ukraine and brokered by Turkey and the UN has been seen as critical to easing the global food crisis caused by the conflict.

The agreement allowed more than nine million tonnes of Ukrainian grain to be exported and was due to be renewed on November 19.

Earlier Tuesday, Turkey said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would speak with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts in the coming days to try to rescue the grain export deal.

In Tuesday's call, Macron also told Zelenskyy that France would "very quickly" increase its military support for Ukraine, "especially concerning air defence".

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