Biden calls Russia suspension of grain deal scandalous – Observer

US President Joe Biden said on Saturday that Russia’s decision to stop participating in a deal to export grain from Ukrainian ports vital to the world food supply was scandalous.

“This is just scandalous. There’s no reason for them to do that,” Biden told reporters after voting early in the U.S. midterm elections in Wilmington, Delaware.

Russia on Saturday announced its participation in a deal on grain exports from Ukrainian ports after an attack by ‘drones’ (unmanned and remotely controlled aircraft) targeting the Russian navy stationed in Sevastopol Bay in annexed Crimea.

The UN said it was making efforts to preserve the accord, accusing Russia of a “false pretext” for Ukraine’s Crimea offensive, and pressing Moscow to justify the suspension of the deal and “honor its obligations.”

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The deal, brokered by the UN and Turkey in July, allowed the export of millions of tons of grain in Ukrainian ports after the Russian invasion in February, which raised food prices and raised fears of famine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stepped up his criticism of the deal, pointing out that exports from Russia, another major grain producer, would suffer from sanctions.

Crimea, annexed by Russia in March 2014 after an intervention by its special forces and a referendum condemned by Kiev and the West, serves as the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and a logistical back-base for Russian offensives in Ukraine.

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