Rep. Peters, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Resolution to Condemn Russia’s Abandonment of the Black Sea Grain Initiative
September 12, 2023
Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Scott Peters (D-CA-50), along with Representatives Tom Kean Jr. (R-NJ-7), William Keating (D-MA-9), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1) introduced a resolution to condemn Russia for exacerbating global food insecurity through its illegal, unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine and abandonment of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The resolution also calls for Russia to return to the agreement and cease the targeting of Ukrainian grain storage and port facilities.
“Russia’s remorseless weaponization of hunger hurts the world’s most vulnerable populations,” said Rep. Peters. “With this resolution, the United States House of Representatives is saying with one unified and bipartisan voice that Russia cannot act with impunity and that they must return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative.”
"We are speaking with one bipartisan voice to condemn Russia's suspension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” said Rep. Kean, Chairman of the Europe Subcommittee on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “The right to food security is simply non-negotiable, as depriving civilians of the basic right to food is outside the confines of war. Through this resolution, we send a clear message that such actions will not go unchallenged on the international stage."
“The Russian Federation has stoked international instability by restricting the export of vital food sources from Ukraine -- exacerbating already dangerous global food insecurity,” said Rep. Keating, Ranking Member of the Europe Subcommittee on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Together, my colleagues and I are calling on the Russian Federation to work with the international community to allow grain exports to continue from Ukraine through the Black Sea. Despite Russia’s actions, I have and will continue to search for legislative options to support the State Department in their efforts to coordinate export of these food stuffs and prevent a global humanitarian crisis.”
“Vladimir Putin’s brutal, unprovoked war against Ukraine and choice to target innocent, food insecure civilians in Ukraine and around the world are abhorrent,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “Congress must be firm and clear in denouncing the barbaric weaponization of hunger by the Putin regime. I am proud to be leading this bipartisan resolution to condemn the Russian Federation’s inhumane actions and recent decision to again suspend its participation in the humanitarian Black Sea Grain Initiative.”
Quote of support from Oksana Markarova, Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States:
“I would like to thank Representatives Scott Peters, Tom Kean, Bill Keating, and Brian Fitzpatrick for the extremely important and timely Resolution condemning russia for suspending their participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
“In the last 18 months, the whole world has seen russia’s brutal genocidal aggression against Ukraine. In addition to their endless war crimes and crimes against humanity, russia attempts to expand the geography of suffering through the weaponization of hunger in the world.
“The present-day russian leadership is following the steps of the Soviet totalitarian regime, which 90 years ago organized the Genocide Holodomor or man-made famine, leading to the deaths of millions of innocent Ukrainians. Today the Kremlin once again attempts to annihilate Ukraine’s independence and statehood and blackmails the world by using grain and food as a weapon against humanity. We are grateful to our American friends and to Congress on strong bipartisan basis for every effort on bringing an end to russia’s unjustified and criminal war against peaceful European Ukrainians.”
Ukraine has historically been a significant supplier of agricultural products for global markets, providing food for nearly 400 million people around the world and is the world’s fifth-largest exporter of wheat. On July 27, 2022, Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Turkey, and the United Nations launched the Black Sea Grain Initiative ‘‘to ensure the safe passage of commercial vessels carrying grain, foodstuffs, and fertilizers, including ammonia, in and out of three Ukrainian ports.” On July 17, 2023, Russia suspended its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative and soon thereafter announced that it would consider civilian vessels traveling in the Black Sea to be valid military targets. Up until the Russian Federation suspended its participation, the Black Sea Grain Initiative facilitated the export of nearly 33 million metric tons of grain.
Full text of the resolution here.