Austria calls Russia's withdrawal from the grain deal a slap in the face to African countries
Russia's withdrawal from the grain deal is a slap in the face to African countries and all others who depend on Ukrainian grain. Moscow is cynically using hunger as a weapon, while the European Union has not imposed any sanctions on food from Russia.
This was stated by Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg before the EU Foreign Affairs Council at a briefing in Brussels on 20 July. He emphasised that Russia's cynicism is unparalleled.
"This is a diametrical contradiction to the narrative they are spreading. This is a slap in the face to African countries and other regions that depend on this grain," the politician said, commenting on Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the attack on Odesa and Mykolaiv, and Moscow's threats to sink ships sailing to Ukrainian ports.
According to him, the EU has put forward a number of proposals to the Kremlin to meet its "legitimate demands", but the latter has not met them.
"There was an opportunity, there was flexibility, but not on the Russian side... I think it's quite clear that we have a situation where Moscow is cynically using hunger as a weapon and bombing the main ports - this is a reaction," the Austrian Foreign Minister said.
He added that the European Union has not imposed any sanctions on food or grain from Russia.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL:
- On 19 July, Russian President Vladimir Putin complained of "harassment" and said that Moscow would consider returning to the grain deal.
- Russia announced that it would consider all ships in the Black Sea heading to Ukrainian ports from 20 July as "legitimate military targets".