Moscow threatens to end Black Sea grain deal if G7 bans exports to Russia. Here’s why the agreement matters

Mariya Knight

If the Group of Seven nations ban exports to Russia, Moscow is threatening to terminate the Black Sea grain deal, viewed as critical to addressing the world hunger crisis.

Such a ban could be part of the ever-evolving set of sanctions the allies have leveled against Moscow for its war in Ukraine.

Ukraine normally supplies about 45 million metric tons of grain to the global market every year and is the world’s top exporter of sunflower oil. Together with Russia, it accounted for about one-quarter of global wheat exports in 2019.

On Sunday, Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president and deputy chair of Russia’s security council, implied in a Telegram post that Moscow would answer a new G7 export ban by halting the flow of “goods that are the most sensitive for G7.”

Alliance response: The G7 called for the “extension, full implementation and expansion” of the Black Sea grain deal in a statement published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan on Sunday.

Moscow has pulled out of the deal before: Russia had suspended its participation in the UN-brokered agreement in October 2022 after drone attacks on the Crimean city of Sevastopol, Ukraine.

Shipments have been stop and start during the deal, with each side accusing the other of sabotaging the operation at times.

Origins of the deal and impact: Turkey, alongside the United Nations, helped broker the deal in July 2022. The agreement established a procedure that guaranteed the safety of ships carrying Ukrainian grain, fertilizer and other foodstuffs through a humanitarian corridor in the Black Sea.

Under the deal, all vessels coming to and from Ukraine’s ports were inspected and monitored by international teams made up of officials from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN.

CNN’s Uliana Pavlova, Sugam Pokharel, Dennis Lapin, Ivana Kottasová and Katharina Krebs contributed to this report.

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