In the aftermath of the expiration of the cereals agreement, the World Bank is alarmed by the gap that is widening between rich and poor countries
Present at the G20, meeting in Gandhinagar, in the Indian state of Gujarat, on Tuesday, the World Bank was alarmed at the gap that is widening between rich and poor countries. The discussions of the big moneymakers come the day after the Russian refusal to extend an agreement authorizing the export of Ukrainian cereals by the Black Sea. Moscow had previously made known its refusal to extend the agreement, signed in July 2022 with Ukraine under the aegis of the United Nations and Turkey, denouncing the obstacles to trade in Russian agricultural products.
The United Nations, which was indignant, warned that millions of the world’s poorest people would “pay the price”. “We live in complicated times; I have to allude to the fact that Russia pulled out yesterday [lundi] of the Black Sea Initiative and Ukraine – and we are here to discuss how to help vulnerable countries,” German Central Bank President Joachim Nagel told Agence France-Presse. . “It’s really strange,” he added, “and many countries have blamed Russia for doing this.”
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres reacted to the Russian decision, stressing that “hundreds of millions of people are facing hunger” and that they will “pay the price”. The head of American diplomacy described the Russian decision as “unacceptable” and assured that it would lead to an increase in food prices. Moscow’s choice to use “food as a weapon (…) will complicate the delivery of food to places that desperately need it and lead to higher prices”, said the secretary of state American Antony Blinken.
As for Ukraine, it has shown its willingness to continue exporting its cereals via the Black Sea, with or without Moscow’s agreement on ship safety. “Even without Russia, everything must be done so that we can use this corridor [pour les exportations] in the Black Sea. We are not afraid,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said. Early Tuesday, Ukrainian air defense was activated in the Odessa region, three ports of which were part of the grain deal, local authorities said.