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Federal Government criticises Russia’s refusal to extend grain agreement


Brussels (dpa) – Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz has sharply criticised Russia’s refusal to extend the agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea. This was a “poor signal” not only to Ukraine but also to the rest of the world, the Federal Chancellor said at an EU-Latin America summit in Brussels. It showed “that Russia doesn’t feel responsible for sound global relations”.

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to reinstate the agreement immediately. Putin should refrain from “once again using hunger as a weapon in this brutal war of aggression”, said Baerbock on the sidelines of a visit to UN headquarters in New York. Russia’s response showed clearly that the Russian President “has no regard for the weakest in the world”, she added.

Baerbock said she was grateful that despite the repeated interruptions, the United Nations and Turkey were “making repeated efforts to keep this grain agreement alive”. At the same time, Putin’s actions showed how important it was for the European Union not to rely solely on Putin, she said, but to ensure that the grain could be transported out of Ukraine overland by train, too. “We have to keep working on this issue of a second route, through the European Union in particular, so that the grain can be transported out into the world.”

Russia previously put a stop to the agreement to export Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea. In return for lifting the freeze, Moscow demanded relief from sanctions on its fertiliser and food exports, insurance, freight and also finance. Originally brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, the agreement officially ended late Monday night after nearly a year.


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