US to continue pressuring Russia into returning to ‘grain deal’
US Department of State Spokesperson Matthew Miller, a video grab

The United States will continue to put pressure on the Kremlin to make Russia return to the Black Sea grain deal, US state department spokesman Matthew Miller told a briefing on Monday.

"We’re going to continue to press Russia to rejoin the Black Sea grain initiative," Mr Miller said.

He stressed the US does not take credit of the ‘excuses’ Moscow made for withdrawing from the ‘grain deal’, including complaints about its own exports as shipments of Russian fertiliser and grain "were at or near all-time highs while the Black Sea grain initiative was in effect".

"We are going to continue to make clear to the rest of the world that it is Russia that is responsible, first, for withdrawing from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, and then for bombing Ukrainian ports and Ukrainian grain facilities over the days and now weeks since they withdrew.

"So we will make that case and urge countries around the world that have depended on grain exports from Ukraine and from the region to press Russia diplomatically, but unfortunately we have as of yet seen no sign that Russia intends to return to the initiative".

On July 17, 2023, Russia announced its withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, adding that it would not give guarantees of non-attack on civilian vessels after that date.

On the same day, Ukraine offered the UN and Turkey to continue the work of the corridor without Russia, and later, started exploring other options for grain export, including through Baltic Sea ports and expanding EU land routes.