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Brazil should influence Russia to return to grain deal – US Secretary of State

Wednesday, 9 August 2023, 11:55
Brazil should influence Russia to return to grain deal – US Secretary of State

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, has said Brazil's vote is crucial to bring Russia back to the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Source: Blinken in an interview with GloboNews, a Brazilian news-based TV channel, as reported by European Pravda; US Department of State

Details: Responding to whether the US Secretary of State believes that Brazil's neutral position in the Russian war against Ukraine gives its President Lula da Silva a favourable position to mediate in the negotiations and try to convince Russia to resume the grain deal, Blinken said: "In short, yes".

Quote: "I think Brazil’s voice, President Lula’s voice, is critical. And using that voice to convince the Russians to return to the agreement would be a very, very positive thing," Blinken believes.

Details: The US State Secretary stressed that "this agreement never should have been necessary in the first place", but it "was only necessary because Russia decided to invade Ukraine, and then, having done so, it blockaded its ports, preventing grain and wheat from getting out".

"While that agreement was enforced before Russia pulled out of it a couple of weeks ago, 35 million tonnes of food products got out of Ukraine… The equivalent of 18 billion loaves of bread: that’s what Russia has now torn up... Since Russia has taken its action of getting out of the agreement, prices for everyone have gone up 10 or 15 percent," Blinken summed up.

Background: Earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly held talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan regarding the grain deal.

On 17 July, Russia announced the halt of the grain deal and threatened "risks" to parties deciding to continue the initiative without Russia's participation.

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