India has expressed deep concern over the suspension of the Black Sea Grain initiative, a UN-brokered agreement allowing food exports from Ukraine amidst the conflict with Russia. R. Madhu Sudan, Counsellor in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN, stated that the halt is expected to worsen global challenges in food security, fuel, and fertilizer supply, particularly impacting the global South.
The initiative, a result of the UN Secretary-General’s efforts, aimed to prevent a global food crisis and ensure food security. It facilitated the export of over nine million tonnes of grains and other food products from Ukraine. Madhu Sudan emphasized that the Black Sea Grain initiative provided a glimmer of hope for peace in Ukraine, and its suspension would compound existing challenges.
India voiced support for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ engagement with the involved parties for the renewal and full implementation of the initiative, including the facilitation of food and fertilizer exports from Ukraine and Russia. Russia had suspended its involvement, citing an attack on ships in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol.
Madhu Sudan highlighted India’s belief that the initiative’s exports contributed to reducing wheat and commodity prices, evident in the drop in the FAO Price Index. He underscored India’s consistent stance that diplomacy and dialogue are essential to resolving the conflict, emphasizing support for efforts, including those of the Secretary-General, to end the ongoing crisis based on UN Charter principles and international law.