NATO-Ukraine Council to Discuss Russian Withdrawal From Grain Deal, Ongoing Port Strikes

July 24, 2023 6:27 PM
Ukrainian port facility on the Danube River after an attack on July 24, 2023. Ukrainian MoD Photo

The NATO-Ukraine Council is set to discuss Russia’s withdrawal from a Turkey-U.N. brokered grain deal that allowed Ukraine to safely export grain from its ports.

The council will discuss the withdrawal Wednesday, Reuters reported. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy requested the meeting.

The United Nations Security Council also met on Friday to discuss the grain deal. Russia continues to bombard Ukrainian port city Odesa since Moscow withdrew, USNI News previously reported.

“We have now witnessed a further blow to global food security, as Russia — for the fourth consecutive day — struck Ukraine’s Black Sea ports in Odesa, Chornomorsk and Mykolaiv with missiles and drones, destroying critical port infrastructure, facilities and grain supplies,” Rosemary DiCarlo, under-secretary-general for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, said in a meeting readout.

Wheat and corn prices have risen due to the collapse of the deal, with wheat prices up 9 percent and corn up 8 percent, according to the meeting readout.

Lithuania asked the European Union to allow Baltic ports to carry Ukrainian grain, AFP reported Monday.

Greece and Bulgaria are also discussing the ability to carry Ukrainian grain by rail, the Kyiv Independent reported. Croatia has previously offered its rail and ports.

Russia continues to attack Odesa, which was one of the Ukrainian port cities that the country could use to export its grain under the deal. The Russian bombings killed one person Sunday and wounded 21 others, according to Kyiv Independent, which also reported that 44 buildings were damaged.

UK MoD Image

Russia is also targeting other Ukranian ports, including those on the Danube River, United Kingdom’s ambassador to Ukraine tweeted Monday.

“[Russia] actively does not want [Ukrainian] grain to reach those who need it and is going to great efforts to ensure that grain is either trapped or destroyed,” Melinda Simmons tweeted.

During the Security Council meeting Friday, Russia’s representative Dmitry Polyansky said the country would return to the grain deal if its requests were met. Russia has consistently said that it did not receive its part of the deal, which led to Moscow withdrawing.

“We are not against the grain deal as such, especially considering its importance for the global food market, for many countries of the world, and are ready to consider an opportunity of returning to it but only under one condition – if all the earlier agreed principles of Russia’s participation in the deal without exception are addressed in full scope, and most importantly, implemented,” Polyansky said, according to state-run media TASS.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
Follow @hmongilio

Get USNI News updates delivered to your inbox