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Russia suspends grain agreement, fears famine.

On Monday, Russia announced the suspension of an unprecedented grain agreement that allowed the export of grain from Ukraine to countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, where hunger is becoming a growing threat, and high food prices have pushed more people into poverty.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov announced the freezing of the agreement in a phone conference with journalists and added that Russia would return to the program when its demands were met, despite the country exporting record amounts of wheat and continuing to sell fertilizer.

This suspension marks the end of a historic agreement mediated last summer by the United Nations and Turkey, which allowed food to be shipped out of the Black Sea region after Russia's invasion of its neighboring country almost a year and a half ago. Another agreement facilitated the movement of Russian food and fertilizer despite Western sanctions. The program provided guarantees that merchant vessels would not be attacked when entering and leaving Ukrainian ports.

Today, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterrez expressed his disappointment with Russia's suspension of the grain export agreement, as it jeopardizes food security and price stability.

The war in Ukraine caused record highs in basic food prices last year and contributed to a global food crisis also associated with the conflict, the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, droughts, and other climate factors.

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