G7 Wants Russia To Extend Grain Deal

The G7 wants Russia to prolong a deal allowing safe passage of grain shipments from Ukraine, a senior United States official said on Friday at talks in Germany.

“Everyone agreed on the need to extend the Black Sea grain initiative,” the official said.

The G7’s top diplomats are in the western German city of Muenster for two days of talks, with the war in Ukraine at the top of the agenda.

The official said that the club of nations is “appreciative of the UN’s efforts to convince Russia to extend” the grain deal.

Grain shipments from Ukraine resumed on Thursday after Russia returned to a deal allowing their safe passage following international pressure.

But Moscow said it had yet to decide whether to extend the grain deal beyond November 19 – the renewal date written into the original agreement brokered by the UN and Turkey to stave off a global food emergency.

On a visit to China, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also urged an extension to the deal.

“Hunger must not be used as a weapon,” Scholz said on Friday.

On Thursday, the G7’s top diplomats accused Russia of systematically destroying civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

“They agreed that there needs to be some sort of a G7 coordinated mechanism to help Ukraine repair, defend and restore its energy and water infrastructure,” the US official said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba joined the meeting and “provided an update on the devastating attacks… on civilians, energy and water facilities,” the official said.

G7 ministers promised a winter aid package including generators, heaters, container housing, tents, beds, and blankets.

German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, said Russia had “chosen a new method of warfare by trying to let people starve, die of thirst and freeze to death”.

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