Russia’s Withdrawal from Ukraine Export Deal Renews Fears of Global Food Shortage

Nov 2, 2022

Russia decided to withdraw from a global agreement. The agreement had allowed Ukraine to export grain from Black Sea ports. Russia’s move worsened fears about global food shortages. Countries in the developing world have been hit hard. 

The Kremlin announced it was indefinitely withdrawing from the United Nations’ (UN) brokered agreement. Russia said it could no longer promise the safety of ships. A rush of grain shipments followed the announcement. On Monday and Tuesday, 15 boats carried hundreds of thousands of tons of food from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Russia made no move against them. 

Among them was the Ikaria Angel. The boat carried 30,000 metric tons of wheat to the Horn of Africa. Food shortages are rampant there. 

The UN, Ukraine, and Turkey are the only political bodies still in the deal. They said no ships will travel the seas today. Negotiators, meanwhile, are trying to save the deal.  

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said they will keep working to serve humanity.

Russia, Ukraine, and the world benefit from the deal. The two countries provide more than a fourth of the world’s globally traded wheat, nearly a third of its barley, three-fourths of its sunflower oil, and 15% of its corn.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Erdogan he’d consider re-entering the agreement. But he said he'd only do that if a drone attack on Russia’s fleet in Crimea is fully investigated. Putin blames Ukraine. But Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

Ukraine's president accused Russia of "blackmailing the world with hunger." Russia denies that. 


Photo from Reuters. 

Based on how it is used in the second paragraph of the story, “indefinitely” means _______. (Common Core RI.5.4; RI.6.4)
a. temporarily
b. for an unknown amount of time
c. briefly
d. most likely
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