The Group of Seven (G7) economic powers urged on Sunday for the “extension, full implementation, and expansion” of a vital arrangement to export Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea, according to a communiqué issued by the group’s agricultural ministers.
The pact, mediated by the UN and Turkey, was reached in Istanbul in July, allowing Ukraine to export more than 27 million tons of grain from multiple Black Sea ports.
Russia, which invaded its neighbor in February 2022, has strongly signaled that it will not allow the deal to continue beyond May 18 because a list of demands to facilitate its own grain and fertilizer exports has not been met.
In the communique after a two-day meeting in Miyazaki, Japan, the G7 agriculture ministers “recognized the importance” of the deal, saying: “We strongly support the extension, full implementation and expansion of (the Black Sea Grain Initiative) BSGI.”
“We condemn Russia’s attempts to use food as a means of destabilization and as tool of geopolitical coercion and reiterate our commitment to acting in solidarity and supporting those most affected by Russia’s weaponization of food,” the communique said.
G7 members “stand ready” to support recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine, including by providing expertise in de-mining of agricultural land and reconstruction of agricultural infrastructure, the document said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to discuss the Ukraine Black Sea grain export deal with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York this week.